Increasing Access to Laparoscopic Surgery in Low-income Countries (2020-2021)

Laparoscopic surgery is the standard of care in high-income countries but is unavailable in most low- and middle-income countries. To increase access to laparoscopic surgery, this project team built on the work of previous teams to develop of a low-cost and reusable laparoscope suitable for use in low- and middle-income countries. 

The ReadySuite is a comprehensive set of prototypes including the ReadyView Laparoscope (which only costs $150 and can be connected to a laptop for power), ReadyMentoring capabilities and ReadyLift Retractor. ReadyLift gently lifts the abdominal wall, which eliminates the need for carbon dioxide, pressure regulation and continuous electricity. ReadyMentoring allows surgeons in different locations to interact audibly and visually during surgery and enables information exchange and remote mentoring.

In 2020-2021, team members worked to create assess the regulatory landscape for the device as well as a business model that includes marketing ReadyView in high-income country markets and the ReadySuite for low- and middle-income country markets. Team members also completed preclinical studies to collect feedback on the device and engaged in usability testing with collaborators. The team collected data on current laparoscopic cases performed in Uganda, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea, including what types of cases are being performed laparoscopically, what problems surgeons are having with equipment and what complications are occurring. 


Fall 2020 – Summer 2021

Team Outputs

Tamera Fitzgerald. NIH U01 - Cancer Technologies for LMICs ($2,000,000 grant awarded from National Health Institutes, 2022)

ReadyView: Increasing Access to Laparoscopic Surgery (lightning talk by Jamila Otieno and Siddhesh Zadey)

Sarah Hubner, Caroline Maloney, Sarah Dunn Phillips, Pratik Doshi, Julius Mugaga, Robert Tamale Ssekitoleko, Jenna L Mueller, Tamara N Fitzgerald. 2021. "The Evolving Landscape of Medical Device Regulation in East, Central, and Southern Africa." Global Health: Science and Practice 9(1).

Jenna L. Mueller, Natalie Rozman, Enakshi D. Sunassee, Aryaman Gupta, Cayla Schuval, Arushi Biswas, Bailey Knight, Shreyas Kulkarni, Meredith Brown, Nimmi Ramanujam, Tamara N. Fitzgerald. 2021. "An Accessible Laparoscope for Surgery in Low- and Middle- Income Countries." Annals of Biomedical Engineering.


Arushi Biswas

John Boom

This Team in the News

Class of 2022 Spotlight: Arushi Biswas BSE/AB’22

Senior Spotlight: Reflections from the Class of 2022

Spotlighting Innovative Duke Scholars for #InternationalWomensDay 2022

Cut Costs, Not Patients: The Promise of Laparoscopic Surgery in Global Health

See related teams, Sustainable Implementation of Laparoscopy in Low-income Countries (2021-2022) and Sustainable Laparoscopic Surgery for Low-Income Countries: FDA Approval and Business Model for Access (2019-2020).


Image: Previous team members pose with their laparoscopes


Team Leaders

  • Sarah Dunn Phillips, Margolis Center for Health Policy
  • Tamara Fitzgerald, School of Medicine-Surgery: Pediatric General Surgery
  • Jenna Mueller, University of Maryland

/graduate Team Members

  • Siddhesh Zadey, Global Health - MSc
  • Natalie Rozman, Electrical/Computer Engg-PHD, Electrical/Computer Engg-MS

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Shreyas Kulkarni, Computer Science (BS)
  • Matthew Wang, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Ria Thimmaiahgari, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Jamila Otieno, Computer Science (BS)
  • Caroline Maloney, Biology (BS)
  • Vignesh Alagappan, Economics (BS)
  • Bailey Knight, Biology (BS)
  • Khue Huynh, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Sarah Hubner, Political Science (AB)
  • Pierce Hollier, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Aarzu Gupta, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)
  • Yi Chen, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)
  • Reed Chen, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • John Boom, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Arushi Biswas, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Harold Leraas, School of Medicine-Surgery
  • Charles Geddie, School of Medicine-Neurosurgery
  • Amos Loh Hong Pheng, Duke-NUS Medical School

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Julius Mugaga, Makerere University - Kampala
  • Kids OR
  • John Sekabira, Mulago Hospital, Uganda
  • Robert Ssekitoleko, Makerere University-Kampala