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Med Students Design Antifatigue Vest for Surgeons

By Diana Anghel

Two med students at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine invented a vest meant to support posture and fight fatigue for surgeons. Bara Sadaah and Caywin Zhuang designed the vest after noticing that fatigue was a big issue for surgeons during their clinicals.

The vest works by supporting the backs of doctors during procedures and it has a notification system meant to remind them when to take breaks and stretch. It has two sensors that detect the current neck and spine position of the physicians.

“One of the biggest challenges we faced was creating a notification system that would notify a surgeon that their posture is not proper, while also not distract them in the middle of surgery,” Badaah said.

The question was, “how can we design a posture correcting device that is able to be used in the operating room, underneath the scrubs that the surgeon would wear?” Most posture devices that are already on the market are too bulky to be worn in this case, according to Badaah.

Badaah hopes that this device will target the current physician shortage on a local and national level by allowing doctors to be more comfortable during procedures.

Badaah and Zhunag’s team is currently working towards integrating the data that the vest collects across entire surgeries into an app, where it would be easily accessible for doctors to look at. By the end of spring, the students hope the app system will be designed. They also hope to start testing out the device in hospitals by the end of spring.

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