Engineering a breakthrough in women’s health care
Medical engineer Edmund Wessels has developed a device that will make female examinations easier
After completing his degree in mechatronics engineering at Stellenbosch University, Edmund Wessels, 30, enrolled for a master’s in biomedical devices at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2016. (He recently submitted his PhD.) “Every student is allocated a doctor who has a problem,” says Wessels. “I was paired with an incredible gynae, Carol Thomas, who identified the need for an affordable, portable hysteroscopy system.”
Thomas has since died, so the FM interviewed Kendall Brouard, an obstetrician-gynaecologist at Groote Schuur Hospital, who’s a clinical adviser on the FlexiGyn project. “A hysteroscopy is an examination of the inside of the uterus, using a camera inserted into the vagina which then passes through the cervix,” she says, adding that there are several reasons a woman may need the procedure, including post-menopausal bleeding, which can be a symptom of cancer. “It’s very important to see what’s going on inside the uterus.”..
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