Prechtl Engineering has won the German Standard Parts Award 2017, organised by Cadenas and Otto Ganter, with an OP microscope designed for ENT and eye doctors in developing countries.
This year's award with a cash prize of 2,500 euros went to Prechtl Engineering that developed a microscope comprised of 80% standard parts from a total of 191 components. The installation of the microscope is very cost-effective, making it affordable for ears, nose and throat (ENT) and eye doctors in developing countries. Moreover, Cadenas announced that the precurement of the spare parts is very simple since they are available everywhere and at short notice. The transportable microscope is currently in use in Africa, Asia and Oceania to provide surgical care for people in remote regions of the world.
“The attention our project has received through the German Standard Parts Award is really great. We hope that EAGLE (European Association of Global Lecturing ENT reg.), who collects money for the OP microscope, will thus obtain further support,” says Jakob
Jakob Prechtl first got the idea to develop the microscope back in 2010, through his friend ENT doctor, Dr. Biesinger: “He told me about his experiences when working abroad during a charity mission in Southeast Asian Myanmar. He needed much more time than usual for routine operations, because the required medical equipment was not available meaning higher risks to patients. Most of all, he missed a reliable functioning OP microscope for delicate operations in the middle and inner ear. He therefore dreamed of a "travel microscope" that he could simply take along in the future.”
First Cochlea implant in Myanmar was performed with Prechtl's microscope
The engineering company Prechtl Engineering had previously been specialized mainly in the design and development of larger machines as well as machine tools. The idea of the OP microscope was rather exotic for Prechtl: “At that time we weren't even active in the medical technology sector. To begin with, we purchased a used OP microscope by auction, took it completely apart and studied its functions in detail. We then thought about how to implement those functions in a miniature version.” As early as 2011 he accompanied a team of doctors in their workshop to Myanmar with the first prototype in his luggage and got to monitor and follow the first use of the device live.
Prechtl, CEO of Prechtl Engineering.
Since then, the transportable OP microscope is used in the ENT area for operations in the middle and inner ear as well as for larynx operations. "The very first Cochlea implant in Myanmar was performed with our microscope. In the process, a deaf person's hearing was restored," Jakob Prechtl proudly reports. Moreover, eye doctors use the microscope predominantly for cataract operations. Up to now, the OP microscope has been used in the regions of Africa (Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia) and Asia (Georgia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar) as well as Oceania (Papua New Guinea).