World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) selects web-based surgery innovation, Smile Train, to be showcased at global summit
Doha, Qatar 21 January 2015: The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) will showcase US Smile Train’s Virtual Surgery Simulator, a cleft lip and palate surgical training tool, as one of the world’s newest and most ground-breaking healthcare innovations. The Simulator will be presented, along with 19 other inventions, to 1000 of the world’s leading healthcare experts at the WISH Summit taking place on 17-18 February 2015 in Qatar.
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.
Each year, around the world, 170,000 children are born with cleft lip and/or palate – one in every 700 births – making it one of the most common of all birth defects¹. Most children born with clefts do well in developed countries where clefts are repaired within the first year of life, usually by a surgeon who has extensive experience and training with this disorder. But clefts are a major problem in developing countries where millions of children are suffering with unrepaired clefts. Most cannot eat or speak properly and aren’t allowed to attend school or hold a job.
Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Smile Train’s sustainable model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in over 85 developing countries to provide free cleft repair surgery in their communities.
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 organization 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. Only 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, Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London and 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 utilizes 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 World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) is an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF). 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.
Notes to Editors
For more information please contact:
Noha El Afify
WISH Communications Manager
About the World Innovation Summit for Health
The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) is a global healthcare community dedicated to capturing and disseminating the best evidence-based ideas and practices. WISH is an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) and is under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, its Chairperson.
The inaugural WISH Summit took place in Doha in 2013 and convened more than 1,000 global healthcare leaders. Through annual Summits and a range of ongoing initiatives, WISH is creating a global community of leading innovators in healthcare policy, research and industry.
Together, they are harnessing the power of innovation to overcome the world’s most urgent healthcare challenges and inspire other stakeholders to action.
Qatar Foundation – Unlocking Human Potential
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a private, non-profit organisation that is supporting Qatar on its journey from a carbon economy to a knowledge economy by unlocking human potential for the benefit of not only Qatar, but the world. Founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, QF is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
QF carries out its mission through three strategic pillars: education, science and research, and community development. QF’s education pillar brings world-class universities to Qatar to help create an education sector in which young people can develop the attitudes and skills required for a knowledge economy. Meanwhile, its science and research pillar builds Qatar’s innovation and technology capacity by developing and commercializing solutions through key sciences. Finally, its community development pillar helps foster a progressive society while also enhancing cultural life, protecting Qatar’s heritage and addressing immediate social needs in the community.
For a complete list of QF’s initiatives and projects, please visit qf.org.qa. For more information about QF, please contact our press office at [email protected].
About Smile Train
Smile Train is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with unrepaired clefts live in shame, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Smile Train’s sustainable model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery in their own communities. To learn more about how Smile Train’s sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit SmileTrain.org.