Photo: Danish Design Award

Innovative instruments solve problems for midwives and surgeons

Thursday 28 Jun 18
DTU start-ups develop new eco-friendly disposable products for hospitals. Common for these solutions is that they are simple, innovative, and easy to use.

Two new start-ups from DTU focus on developing innovative health technologies for a growing market which will help to solve tomorrow’s health challenges.

In May, one of the start-ups, Price Invena, won a Danish Design Award in the ‘Better Work’ category. The award was given for the disposable instrument ClampCut, which makes it easier to clamp and cut the umbilical cord of newborn babies, so that the midwife can focus on mother and child instead of sterilizing instruments.

The second start-up, FlexLogical, has received a grant of DKK 150,000 from Skylab Funding to develop a hand-held device for laparoscopic surgery. Behind the technologies are Frederik Emil Cederfeldt Larsen, who recently completed his MSc Eng in Design & Innovation. He has designed both instruments in collaboration with businessman Peter Sølbeck.

Prevent human error
“The existing equipment on the market is old and difficult to clean. Our goal is to develop sterile disposable products that are flexible, innovative, and easy to use. To reduce the risk of human error, we have, e.g., focused on ensuring that the clamps in ClampCut make the right clicking sound when you close them,” says Frederik Emil Cederfeldt Larsen.

He explains that midwives normally use up to six different metal instruments, which must be cleaned afterwards—which is costly. Other metal instruments are discarded, which is bad for the environment. The existing equipment for performing laparoscopic surgery presents challenges for surgeons. The equipment is normally used in connection with appendicitis and intestinal and liver cancer.

“Our research shows that surgeons need more freedom of movement in the existing instruments for laparoscopic surgery. We are therefore developing a model which relieves the strain on the surgeon’s wrist. It is intended to the reduce the number of wrist injuries affecting many surgeons. At the same time, the tool head on the equipment is designed to minimize the risk of accidentally cutting into organic tissue,” says Frederik Emil Cederfeldt Larsen.

Conservative market
ClampCut has been tested in collaboration with midwives, and the final design of the laparoscopic instrument will also soon be in place after having been tested by several surgeons and after Frederik Emil Cederfeldt Larsen has reviewed training videos and studied the laparoscopic procedures.

“There is a huge potential for developing new instruments for laparoscopic surgery. But it is also a conservative market. For young surgeons, it is very important that the instruments are eco-friendly. The first thing they comment on is the fact that the disposable instruments must be discarded. They seem to forget that the old metal instruments had to be disinfected or sterilized. It makes our disposable instruments far more eco-friendly,” says Frederik Emil Cederfeldt Larsen.

The disposable instruments are currently the only ones of their kind on the market.
29 MAY 2020