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News on AO Strategy Fund Projects

After such a positive response to the three calls for applications to the AO Strategy Fund, more than twenty projects were approved across five focus areas: Education, Knowledge Sharing, Outreach & the AO Brand, Patient Care, and Research. With almost all funding committed and most projects well underway, we would like to highlight some of the achievements from selected projects:

For the Evaluation of the Faculty Education Program quantitative and qualitative data has been gathered via a lecture performance tool and a series of interviews, and results should be published in the first half of 2017. Agreements are in place with partners Synbone and the University of Malaya for development of a Generic Asian Pelvic Bone Model for surgical training and educational purposes, and collection of computerized tomography data is underway. The Pro-C: AOTrauma Proficiency Curriculum project has seen participants recruited at various AO courses in North America for assessment of metric-based training, and results should be published in early 2017. And following completion of phase one of the Multipurpose Surgical Simulation project, assessing needs and evaluating the surgical simulation landscape, a more extensive second phase to develop simulation tools—enabling the AO to become a recognized provider of surgical simulation solutions—has begun.

AO Interact, an interactive peer review and discussion video portal, is approaching completion and will launch in 2017; work then begins on phase two, a teaching video distribution hub.  The first modules—distal forearm, distal humerus and essential concepts—of the first online Pediatric Surgery Reference tool will launch in December 2016, with another—proximal femur—to follow one year later. Following a meeting of global experts in Davos, development of guidance documents and education materials on Limb Surgery in Disasters & Conflicts is underway and the first output A Field Guide—Management of Limb Injuries was launched by the ICRC, WHO and AO Foundation in Geneva on December 16, 2016. And an impressive first prototype of a comprehensive Orthogeriatrics E-Hub is in place, with work ongoing until mid-2017 to further populate it for presentation to sponsors.

Among projects enhancing the AO's network, visibility and reach, the Generations Survey was rolled out globally in multiple languages and attracted more than 8,000 responses; a final report is in production and will be a valuable input for strategy development to ensure the AO continues to meet the community's needs. The success of the AOVETNA Marketing Initiative has led to AOVET's selection as one of only two educational partners of specialty certifying body the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, and to the ongoing strengthening of ties between the two organizations.  In a partnership between the AO, AO Alliance and Sesame Workshop, childhood trauma prevention project Play Safe with Sisimpur was launched in May 2016 with a first content development workshop.  And collection of material for the AO History & Archive Project began in mid-2016, with work on building and populating comprehensive physical and digital archives ongoing for the next two years.

Contributing to the AO mission to achieve more effective patient care, the Patient Mobility Data Assessment Center's web-based mobility toolkit, utilizing objective outcome patient's data on performance based measures, was demonstrated to surgeons from potential sites in October 2016 with a view to a wider clinical rollout.  And a tested proof of concept of the AO Socks for Customized Weight Bearing, with multiple sensors measuring variables such as pressure, temperature and swelling, was developed on schedule; focus now turns to production of a fully functioning, user friendly and market ready prototype by mid-2017.

Finally among projects aiming to bring value to the AO's research activities, the project Strengthening Preclinical Research has already delivered Good Laboratory Practice certification for the AO Research Institute, close collaboration with various leading medical research organizations, ongoing support for residents and apprentices, and a partnership with the French National Agriculture Research Center to improve research methodology.

The AO Strategy Fund team would like to thank the project leaders, team members and mentors involved with all Strategy Fund projects. These achievements, and those still to come, are due to their considerable dedication and hard work. There will be further updates on these and the other Strategy Fund projects in future.