The Drill Cover redesign started as a project within the University of British Columbia’s Engineers in Scrubs program, 4 which brought together a team of biomedical engineering researchers, orthopaedic surgeons, registered nurses, reprocessing staff, and health administrators from the Uganda Sustainable Trauma Orthopaedic Program (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada). After a round-table discussion based on the observation of pressing clinical problems at Mulago Hospital (Kampala, Uganda), we identified the lack of appropriate surgical drills as a high-priority problem. At Mulago Hospital in 2013, surgeons only had access to a single donated drill with a poorly functioning battery, manual drills, or nonsterile hardware drills. We applied the Biodesign process for medical device innovation 5 and collaborated with surgeons, nurses, and medical device reprocessing staff at Mulago Hospital to identify specific unmet surgical drilling needs, to generate concepts to meet the current needs, and to prototype selected concepts for further feedback.
Overall, user feedback suggested that we: (1) design a Drill Cover system with a sealed barrier between the sterile surgical field and the hardware drill; (2) select a hardware drill that is safe for bone drilling; and (3) improve the process of loading the drill into the Drill Cover.