Sheikh Zayed Institute for Paediatric Surgical Innovation: More than 40 device and care development projects in progress

WASHINGTON, D.C., 8th February, 2015 (WAM) — The Sheikh Zayed Institute Scientific Aisory Committee has revealed that the Children’s National’s Sheikh Zayed Institute for Paediatric Surgical Innovation currently has more than 40 device and care technique projects in progress.

This was announced during the fourth annual meeting of the committee at the Sheikh Zayed Campus for Aanced Children’s Medicine in Washington, D.C.

The seven member committee received updates on the more than 40 on-going projects, and conducted one-on-one interviews with project leaders. Two of the key devices that are now being developed, FaceGene and a robotic system for rehabilitation, have been developed in conjunction with Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa University.

Committee members provided the Sheikh Zayed Institute leadership with recommendations for the next steps in each project, feedback on overall organisational sustainability, and encouragement to maintain their capacity for discovery and innovation.

Aisory Committee member, Dr. Nawal Al Kaabi, Head of Paediatric Infectious Disease and Chair of Education at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, said, “The progress over the last few years has been amazing. The interdisciplinary approach, where physicians work beside engineers and scientists, allows for greater innovation and for development to happen at a much faster pace.” Since its foundation in 2009, through a generous gift from the government of Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Paediatric Surgical Innovation has focused on making paediatric surgery more precise, less invasive, and pain free.

Dr. Peter Kim, Vice President of the Sheikh Zayed Institute, said, “The Sheikh Zayed Institute Scientific Aisory Committee meeting is an opportunity for a range of stakeholders to understand the pioneering work happening in the organisation. Our committee has seen a wide range of projects and had the opportunity to understand how innovation is helping to improve lives.” Key projects highlighted during the meeting included a mobile application for early and noninvasive detection of genetic syndromes, the FaceGene, which is a low-cost tool that identifies a wide array of genetic syndromes (including Down syndrome) using just a smart phone. The technology combines the latest facial recognition software with proprietary algorithms to detect specific facial anomalies that are clinically-proven markers of genetic disease.

A robotic system for rehabilitation, which is designed to facilitate the process of recovery from injury, illness or disease to as normal a condition as possible. Rehabilitation services can be provided by many different health care professionals and has traditionally been very subjective. At the Sheikh Zayed Institute, research is focused on robotic exoskeletal devices that could assist in therapy of the foot, knee, hip, shoulder, and other joints.

An image-guided non-invasive therapeutic energy programme, the High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), through which researchers and physicians are supplanting techniques like laparoscopic surgery and surgical robotics. HIFU is a completely non-invasive, image-guided method that sends a highly focused beam of ultrasound particles to a targeted location in the body, without the need for an incision.

Children’s National has the first paediatric operating room outfitted with the necessary technology in order to study how HIFU could help children. They are also the first in the world to comprehensively investigate the use of HIFU to treat children with solid tumors, including the potential to treat fetuses in utero, without the need for incisions.