Clinical Professor Stephanie Watson, head of the Ocular Repair Group at Save Sight Institute, has been awarded first place prize for her ‘Sutureless Surgery’ product design pitched yesterday at Vivid Sydney’s Building Better Futures for Health product design challenge.
In response to alarming rises in health care costs and a rapidly ageing population, ide Group joins Australia’s push to find and invest in fresh, new ideas. Similar to a product idea pitching competition, yesterdays event was unlike anything you have ever seen before.
Professor Watson presented her innovative Sutureless Surgery product design proposal to a panel of judges at the Vivid Sydney tournament, where the best and brightest of Australia’s health professionals battled it out for $25,000 to support the translation of their idea into a commercially viable reality.
Sutures are used for eye wounds and surgery, however they can have a number of disadvantages, including infection. Professor Watson’s product proposal removes the need to use sutures in the eye, instead using an innovative laser bioadhesive which can be rapidly applied to the eye with high-burst pressure. This health innovation is also capable of delivering anti-infective and anti-inflammatory agents into the wound.
According to Professor Watson “I’m really honoured to have this project selected by the panel of judges, and really pleased to be able to progress its development with the grant. Sutures cause complications for many people who have eye surgery, and this concept has the potential to have a really positive impact on the recovery time and comfort, as well as minimising infection risks for the many people who have eye surgery every year. I’d like to thank the ide Group, Vivid Sydney and all of the judging panel for your support of this project and I look forward to making it a reality.”
C/Prof Watson pitched on behalf of her product design collaborating team at Ocurep, including John Foster, Geoff Waring and Mike Skalsky.