Cape Town doctor and Smartblade company co-founder Caroline Corbett has won the prestigious WFSA-Fresenius Innovation Award 2017 for her team’s creation of the SmartBlade device.

Dr Caroline Corbett developed the SmartBlade in conjunction with her husband Nick Nevin in a bid to enhance access to quality medical equipment.

The Smartblade device is a locally designed, extremely cost effective video laryngoscope‚ which is used to intubate difficult airways. It has been hailed for its novel design and how it harnesses the power of smartphone technology.

Intubation involves inserting a “tube” through a patient’s mouth and into the airway. The device can be connected to a smartphone‚ which shows a video feed of what is happening in the airway.

“We are truly honoured to be the recipients of such a prestigious award and extremely grateful for the opportunities it will offer in ultimately facilitating the delivery of the (device) to clinicians who need it most.”

Dr. Caroline CorbettSmartblade Co-Founder

The South African Society of Anaesthesiologists (SASA) said that Corbett had won the 2017 WFSA-Fresenius Kabi Anaesthesia Innovation Award for developing the device. This includes a US$ 25,000 financial award.

Corbett said: “(I was) very emotional‚ to be honest‚ as we had been so afraid the invention would never reach the people it needed to in order to make a difference.

“We are truly honoured to be the recipients of such a prestigious award and extremely grateful for the opportunities it will offer in ultimately facilitating the delivery of the (device) to clinicians who need it most.”

This is an incredible international recognition of Caroline’s achievement and comes with valuable support

Natalie Zimmelman CEO of the South African Society of Anaesthesiologists

SASA CEO Natalie Zimmelman said the organisation was proud of the accolade and looked forward to seeing it used in South African hospitals in the future.

“This is an incredible international recognition of Caroline’s achievement and comes with valuable support, including a financial grant for the furtherance of the product; business mentors from WFSA (World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists) and Fresenius Kabi (a global health care company that specializes in lifesaving medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition); the production of a promotional video; and an invitation to present at WCA 2020 (the 17th World Congress of Anaesthesiologists). SASA is extremely proud of her achievements and looks forward to seeing the final product in our hospitals soon.”

This piece is derived from an article entitled, “SA doctor wins international prize for new treatment tool“, on the Times Live website sa well as press releases from the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists and the South African Society of Anaesthesiologists.

Savant Smartblade WFSA Fresenius Kabi Anaesthesia Innovation Award