A Final Farewell

As we wrap up our incredible, immersive learning experience in India, our team can’t help but reflect on how lucky we are to have gone on this journey. As aspiring innovators and leaders, we are challenged to address unfamiliar problems that have the potential to have global impact. This experience allowed our team to conduct meaningful, ethnographic research in a healthcare environment very similar, but also very different from the one we have always known. 

We have learned many physicians primary focus is to relieve pain in their patients, and deliver the best quality care while considering all of the circumstances their patients deal with (cost, recovery time, accessibility). We have identified specific criteria that drives technology adoption in a developing market. Within the anesthesia care pathway, our team has focused in on numerous areas of interest that have potential to impact patient monitoring, with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes. We have also learned about the direction of Indian healthcare in the near future, proving to be ripe for innovation opportunities within preventative medicine that can impact such a large population. Beyond our educational experience, we have spent a month immersed in a rich, welcoming culture of great (spicy) food and wonderful people. 

Much of the challenge of innovation is identifying the correct problem to solve. Deep understanding of difficulties that clinicians face and the landscape surrounding them is critical in developing viable solutions. When our team returns to the states, we will all decide on which problem is most worthy to solve, from a clinical and business perspective. We look forward to getting back to the US to continue work on both our US and Global Health projects. Before then, we get a 3 day layover in Copenhagen, Denmark to enjoy some days off!   Thank you all for taking the time to follow along with our journey, we are excited to work hard on developing something impactful from our trip!

-The Team

Clinical Observations at AIG Hospital

Monday and Tuesday of this week, we had the pleasure of completing clinical observations at AIG Hospital which is one of the leading hospitals in India. Upon arrival to the hospital, we were treated to a tour of their OT area as well as the different ICUs. In my opinion, the most interesting part of AIG is how integrated their OTs are. Between the operating rooms and the ICU there is a central control room which they call the “Surgical Studio” where all laparoscopic procedures can be viewed in real time. Also, each OT is fitted with portholes in order to pass along sterile supplies without having to leave the OT. 

 Although AIG specializes in GI procedures, a multitude of different surgeries are performed there. We were able to view both open and laparoscopic surgeries while observing some of the best anesthesiologists administer their care. To finish off our time at AIG, we met with the Chief of Anesthesiology, Dr. Sunil Pandya about his experience as a senior anesthesiologist. He gave us great insight into his goals for the future of anesthesia care.

-Alina

Indian Independence Day

On Thursday, Indian Independence Day, Naresh welcomed us to the school in Irvin Village; he and his father spent much of their childhoods in this village and attending the local school. We drove for about two hours out of Hyderabad to reach the village, which is situated in a rural setting. When we arrived, the school children assembled in dirt courtyard for a flag ceremony, academic term awards ceremony, and celebration of Independence Day. We observed the ceremonies, and then met and interacted with the kids and teachers of the school. After, we toured the school’s classrooms, library, and science laboratory with Naresh and had a traditional village breakfast consisting of spiced rice with peanuts and vegetables. We practiced eating with rice with our hands!

Naresh then took us to the Vikas Excellent School, Kalwakurthy. This school takes a nontraditional approach to educating students who do not fit the mold of the traditional education system. The school is free of cost for students and is funded entirely by donations. It is nestled into the rural countryside and emphasizes proximity to nature while learning. We watched a dance and drum performance by a group of students, and then learned about the educational philosophy from the founder of the school. The curriculum is entirely student run, and runs year-round. After having a wonderful Indian meal, we took a short hike into the countryside to observe some of the gardens planted by students of the school. We sat beneath a Tamarind tree for several hours and discussed the similarities and differences between Indian and American public and private schooling systems with the founder of the Vikas Excellent School. A long drive back to Hyderabad concluded a memorable Independence Day Holiday.

-DZ

Visit to Medtronic Innovation Center

On Monday this week, our team had a fantastic opportunity to visit the Medtronic Engineering and Innovation Center in Hyderabad, India. We spoke with engineers and senior managers directing product development initiatives for Medtronic, including StealthStation precision surgical navigation system and remote pacemaker data acquisition.

We presented our collaborative work with Medtronic Minimally Invasive Therapies Group, highlighting clinical opportunities and market penetration of INVOS Oximetry Technology. This system continuously monitors oxygen flow to vital organs during surgery in patients under anesthesia, as well as monitoring premature infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We look forward to another week of clinical rotations in Star Hospital, identifying unmet clinical needs surrounding anesthesia care within the Indian healthcare environment.

-Dave

Weekend Workout

Team finally got a chance to sleep a little bit (11 hours) on Sunday morning. The Dave’s and Michael headed out to a local national park for a workout in the morning. Marathon Michael from Medtronic (MMM) ran the young boys into the ground. It ended up being a good start to a great day off, following it up with a trip to the malls and jewelry shopping. The guys were absolutely helpless looking at jewelry, so Liz, Maddy, and Alina saved the day with some tasteful recommendations for Michael.
-DM

Young man from India was looking to get some autographs on the run.
Keep up the good work
Quick stop at a highly-regarded pearl store in the city.

Exploring the City

Yesterday, we had a great opportunity to go explore Hyderabad with one of our faculty advisers, Dr. Yazdi, and our Medtronic sponsor, Michael Mestek. We visited Golkonda Fort, known for it’s incredible acoustic system and impressive views of the city. We climbed to it’s tallest point – well over 300 steps to the top – and met the local visitors to the fort. Our guide shared with us the rich history of the fort, which is actually four forts, and the area’s ties to the most famous diamonds in the world – heard of the Hope Diamond?

We also visited Chowmahalla Palace, the official residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad. Chowmahalla, meaning “four palaces”, is beautifully restored and showcases the elegance of Hyderabad’s kings. Chowmahalla’s collection also includes a set of vintage cars used to drive the Nizams.

Our last stop in the tour took us to the Salar Jung Museum, one of the three National Museums of India. Originally a private collection, the art was donated by the Salar Jung family, one of the noble families under the Nizams.

-Maddy

Learning from Experts

Today, Dave and I had the opportunity to attend an anesthesia workshop at Yashoda Hospital. The focus of this workshop was ultrasound guided nerve block. We sat in on some lectures and watched other doctors learn how to use this technique on actual people. Although we would have loved to try this hands-on experience for ourselves, we wanted to make sure that we did not take time away from the doctors who took a day off without pay to attend. These workshops are held all over the state of Telangana, but these doctors can only choose one workshop topic each year due to costs. The doctors were all eager to learn and we are grateful for the experience to learn with them.

– Liz

Continue reading “Learning from Experts”

On The Cutting Edge

Today, we were able to observe a very innovative, minimally invasive spinal procedure to relieve back pain caused by herniated disc. The Percuntaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy (PELD) is performed routinely by only a handful of neurosurgeons in India, and not yet performed regularly in the US. A grasping device was designed and manufactured this week to be used in today’s case, something we would never see happen in the US. The procedure offers very short recovery time along with limited structural damage, as the high-skill procedure addresses the spinal disc issue through a 3mm incision! Crazy stuff, check it out.
-DM

Clinical Immersion: Day 1

Day 1 is coming to a quick end. The team had an amazing time shadowing anesthesiologists from Yashoda Hospitals in Somajiguda, Hyderabad. We saw some spine surgeries, an umbilical hernioplasty, an anal fistuloplasty, partial hypertrophic prostate resection, and a craniotomy for traumatic brain injury. Looking forward to seeing the endoscopic spinal surgery tomorrow, a new cutting edge procedure!

-Liz

Poll: Sandals or Crocs?
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