Posted on January 22, 2015

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), a global initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), will proudly showcase Smile Train’s Virtual Surgery Simulator, a cleft lip and palate surgical training tool, as one of 20 of the world’s newest and most ground-breaking healthcare innovations being presented at the second WISH Summit taking place in Qatar next month.

Smile Train developed the Virtual Surgery Simulator in collaboration with technology company BioDigital to address the challenge of training cleft surgeons around the world. A game-changer in surgical education and training, the Simulator is a 3D, web-based, interactive tool that provides users with essential information and training on cleft anatomy and cleft surgical repair techniques. The free, web-based tool offers a sustainable, accessible approach to cleft surgical training and advances Smile Train’s mission to provide a long-term, scalable solution to the global challenge of treating cleft lip and palate.

Since its founding in 1999, Smile Train has performed more than one million cleft repair surgeries around the world. The organisation currently reaches more than 350 children each day and 128,000 every year. Susannah Schaefer, CEO of Smile Train, said: “Smile Train is thrilled to be participating at the WISH 2015 Summit to showcase our Virtual Surgery Simulator alongside other innovators in global health. We’re excited to share the Simulator and our sustainable training model with experts tackling some of the most pressing and serious global health challenges facing governments, health systems and populations.

Since its launch in 2013, the Simulator has become a key to our ‘teach a man to fish’ training model, which empowers and trains local doctors to perform cleft surgery in their own communities. Our sustainable training approach is the mantra for our success, allowing us to leverage the support from our hundreds of thousands of donors to assist children suffering from clefts worldwide.” WISH’s Innovation Showcases offers a unique platform for smaller, independent start-ups to share healthcare innovations that have the potential to transform lives and save governments’ money.

WISH selects Smile Train’s Virtual 2 [qatarisbooming.jpgOnly in its second year, WISH’s Innovation Showcases was opened up to global applicants and as a result has received 80 applications from 26 countries spanning all areas of health innovation; from digital healthcare and new products to smart-systems and service updates. All applicants have the potential to transform global health – reducing the costs of healthcare delivery while improving the quality of care for patients – but only twenty could be selected.

The selection was made by the Innovation Showcases Curation Team, consisting of Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, Executive Chair of WISH; Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari, Managing Director of Hamad Medical Corporation; Tim Brown of global ideas consultancy IDEO; and Bright Simons, President of mPedigree Network, social innovator and entrepreneur. Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, Executive Chair of WISH, said: “Smile Train is an example of healthcare innovation that cleverly utilises technology to reduce the burden of costs on suppliers and ease the channel of distribution for practitioners.

“The end result is better patient care, faster treatment, reduced costs and improved results. That is what our Innovation Showcases aim to highlight, ways to simply and effectively improve global healthcare for all. I am looking forward to supporting all twenty innovations at this year’s summit and giving them the voice they so deserve to share their ideas with the world’s finest healthcare experts.” The WISH Summit will bring together a global network of high-level policymakers, academics and industry leaders to discuss healthcare initiatives for the benefit of people around the world.

Qatar Foundation has established WISH to bring about action in healthcare innovation locally in Qatar, regionally and globally. Through WISH, Qatar Foundation is supporting the nation in establishing healthcare initiatives for the benefit of the globe while remaining closely aligned to the vision of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, its Chairperson.

For more information about WISH and the 2015 Summit, please visit wish.org.qa

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