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Dr. Paul Ramphal: improving the cardiology skills of medical students

Dr. Paul Ramphal: improving the cardiology skills of medical students

UWI graduate, Dr Paul Ramphal, the inventor of a heart simulator as a cardiac surgery training tool for students of the Faculty of Medical Sciences reports on the progress of his invention. This simulator allows students to practice cardiac surgery procedures without having to practice on humans. The patent for the simulator is owned 50% by himself, Professor Daniel Coore and Dr Michael Craven, who helped him implement and develop it; and 50% by UWI. The technology has been licensed to KindHeart Ltd, a start-up based in Chapel Hill North Carolina, USA. He and his team have collaborated over the last 12 years with the University of North Carolina, to develop it to where it is now. 

Dr Nahush Mokadam is one of the most enthusiastic users of the simulator in the USA and he was one of the principle investigators in a 9-center US based trial of the simulator as a cardiac surgery training tool for a report that was published in 2017. 

There are 5 centres in the USA using the simulator at present. There are actually 6 programmes - U. Washington, U. Wisconsin, Indiana U., Ohio State, Spectrum Health (Grand Rapids, MI), and Northwell on Long Island. Abbott, which is a medical technology/ device company also has a unit for development work.

Dr Rampha, an eminent Cardiothoracic Surgeon, is using one in Nassau, where he now works and there is one at UWI, Mona and both of these are the research machines that were built for the research project.  The one being used in the video below are the commercial machines built by KindHeart (www.kindheart.com).  The simulator at UWI Mona is currently not being used and Dr Ramphal is anxious to instruct a team there so that it can be fully utilised.

Importantly, KindHeart is actively taking orders to manufacture more and there is demand in Europe, Japan and other countries. Dr Ramphal hopes that additional publicity will ensure its adoption; as faculty and administrators can see the logic of using it as a cardiac surgery training tool and would wish their surgeons to have been partially trained using it.  The aim is for medical schools to adopt this new idea and technology which will greatly enhance the cardiac surgery skills of students.

Click below to view –  Northwell in Long Island NY and KindHeart:




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