Canadian Network for International Surgery (CNIS) and Conquer Mobile are collaborating on medical education technology that will reduce injury mortality rates in Africa by teaching surgical skills to African healthcare workers. Using mobile skills training, CNIS will scale up training by a factor of 10, with a goal of training 25,000 African healthcare workers and treating two million patients in the next three years.

The CNIS Mobile Optimized Skills Training (MOST) project uses mobile surgical skills training to accelerate the number of African healthcare workers that can be taught essential surgical skills. The solution uses avatars and case-based skills training to provide a realistic, active learning experience.

CNIS’ goal is to reduce the maternal and injury mortality rates for people in Africa, where women are 10 times more likely to die in childbirth than women in the Americas and 13 percent of Africans will die from an injury – and, where there are simply not enough skilled healthcare workers.

The CNIS Mobile Optimized Skills Training (MOST) project uses mobile surgical skills training to accelerate the number of healthcare workers that can be taught essential surgical skills. Unlike existing face-to-face courses that are taught by visiting doctors to a limited group, MOST will allow skill sharing in the community long after visiting teams have left.

“Right now, we visit communities in Africa and teach surgical skills face to face,” explained Ronald Lett, MD, founder of CNIS and surgeon at Surrey Memorial Hospital. “Using mobile training, we will not only teach ten times more people, but they can also be learning essential skills before we visit and sharing skills long after we are gone. It’s about repetition, reinforcement and reach.”

For the local British Columbia (BC) Technology community, the collaboration between a local nonprofit and a local software company is a showcase example of using local BC innovation to make a global social impact. The project is being presented at the BC Tech Summit this week at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

CNIS is committed to empowering low-income countries to create an environment where the risk from injuries is minimal and that all people receive adequate healthcare. Since 1995, CNIS has tailored 12 courses and qualified more than 150 Canadian surgeons, obstetricians, anesthetists and nurses to teach their counterparts overseas – who have trained more than 25,000 healthcare practitioners in a variety of lifesaving surgical skills.