Monday, June 11, 2012

Fostering innovation at the American Pediatric Surgical Association Annual Meeting

For the second year in a row, the Sheikh Zayed Institute sponsored the Award for Innovation in Pediatric Surgery at the American Pediatric Surgical Association Annual Meeting. The award goes to the most innovative abstract presented at APSA's Innovation Session.

This year's awardees were a multi-disciplinary team of surgeons, engineers, and innovators in the Department of Pediatric Surgery, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and Medical Innovation Center at the University of Michigan.Their presentation focused on a prototype isolation bed for pediatric neuroblastoma patients undergoing treatment with a targeted radioactive particle called metaiodobenzyguanidne (MIBG). The bed is designed to protect professional caregivers and families from the side effects of MIBG treatment, while creating a child-friendly isolation that provides the child with safe interaction and electronic distractions from treatment.

Rendering of the protoype isolation bed in action.
Dr. Sabina Siddiqui, who presented on behalf of the team identified a great and common problem in pediatric device development: “Like many pediatric diseases, neuroblastoma affects such a small population of children that there will never be a solid business case to take on design and development. Instead, at present, the centers that provide treatment have been forced to improvise solutions."

Read the media release to learn more.

This approach of draping the entire bathroom is an example of the current typical improvisation that was used to prevent the spill of radioactive fluids while the patient is undergoing treatment.

Many of Children's surgeons are active participants in APSA, and this year, in addition to the award, Anthony Sandler, MD, Senior Vice President for the Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Center for Surgical Care and a principal investigator in the institute, was invited to speak as part of a panel about basic science in pediatric surgery. He discussed how surgeons might accelerate the timeline of developing basic science research into clinical practice, or truly creating translational research. His talk focused on the Sheikh Zayed Institute's model, which was created precisely to speed up the pathway that takes research from the laboratory to the bedsides of patients who need it.

From left to right: Dr. Newman, CEO of Children's National, Dr. Shamberger, the immediate past president of APSA, Dr. Siddiqui, who presented the award winning research, and Dr. Sandler, Senior Vice President of Children's Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Center for Surgical Care, at the APSA awards dinner.