Resources for Biomedical Engineering Device Design
F20 Project: iProtect
A Sterilizable Smartphone Case That Enables a Surgeon to Take Intraoperative Images
The figure shows the final prototype of iProtect, 3D-printed in PEKK, a derivative of PEEK. A user’s personal phone can be inserted into the sterilized case and shielded from the environment to permit intraoperative imaging.
We are iProtect and our goal is to address the need for a quick and efficient way to allow surgeons to take intraoperative photos in the Operating Room without breaking the sterile field. With 172 million non-laparoscopic surgeries being performed in the United States every year, surgeons need a method to take images and videos during their procedures for patient documentation and educational purposes. Despite this number of surgeries, only about 30 million intraoperative photos are taken each year. This is largely a result of there not being an efficient method for capturing photos and videos during surgeries without disrupting the operation or possibly compromising the sterile field. Surgeons have resorted to using makeshift combinations of their personal smartphone and surgical accessories, but these solutions often add too much time to the procedure’s setup or distort image quality. Our team, with the aid of our sponsor Dr. Clifton Meals, an Orthopedic Surgeon at Emory, developed a way to make a reusable phone case that creates a sterile barrier while maintaining image quality and touchscreen usability. Our solution, iProtect, resembles a common phone case and is made out of PEEK, a material that can be sterilized in the autoclave for over 1000 cycles. The design allows a user’s personal phone to be slid into the case and sealed off from the environment allowing the surgeon access to their phone throughout the entire operation. iProtect is designed to be put together by one person and in a fraction of the time of the surgeons’ current solutions, eliminating wasted time in setup before the procedure. With iProtect, surgeons are given full control of their own device and can be assured that any images taken will maintain high quality.