Virtual medical lab to transform healthcare in Africa


A new state of the art medical laboratory opened in Cape Town, South Africa, where medical trainees undergo a virtual hands on experience.

A multi-million dollar partnership between Stellenbosch University and global tech firm Medtronic, the SUNSkill clinical simulation lab aims to slash the often time consuming live theatre training, immersing healthcare professionals into the virtual world.

‘We cover neurosurgery, orthopaedic surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, plastic surgery, vascular surgery, general surgery and laparoscopy. We have simulators for nurses, paramedical facilities, in fact ICU staff in general can be fully trained on these simulators which are of the most modern in the world,’ said Ivan Vlok, Head of Neurosurgery at Stellenbosch University.

The lab has eight fully simulated theatre operating stations, a dry lab and virtual ICU. At least 1200 physicians will be trained during its first year of operation.

While this new venture is expected to attract specialists from the globe, there are plans to roll it out in other African countries. Peter Fuller, Medtronic’s Vice-President for sub-Saharan Africa explains.

‘The education and training facilities, just because of geography means that Medtronic will further invest in places like Nigeria and Kenya, Ethiopia and some of these countries are a real focus area for us.’

It is expected that such novel technology will help healthcare professionals fine-tune their skills , improve patient outcomes and the standard of medical care in Africa.

This story was sourced from the Africa News website.


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