June 15, 2022

UIC Surgical Innovation Training Lab Takes Top Prize at European Healthcare Design Awards

We are excited to share that the University of Illinois-Chicago Surgical Innovation Training Lab won the Design for Adaptation and Transformation category at the 2022 European Healthcare Design Awards.

The lab advances simulation and surgical education to a new frontier, acting as a space where doctors, researchers, educators and commercial partners can imagine, experiment and help create the surgical rooms of the future and allow surgeons to train with the latest in robotic and minimally invasive surgical tools.

The centerpiece of the SITL is the Innovation Lab, which connects a traditional surgical space and an experimentation research garage. Inspired  by theater design, these areas are flanked by storage spaces that allow equipment to move in and out to create different modes of use. As lead designer Carlos Amato explained, “The most flexible space you can create is an empty space. The lab is surrounded by devices, props, everything you need for whatever activity you want to do. It is designed so you can reproportion the size of the room, too, by hanging  screens from the ceiling grid to change the size of the room to small, medium, large and customize it.”

The Surgical Innovation and Training Lab was the only North American project to be honored in this year’s European Healthcare Design Awards. The lab has garnered a number of awards and recognitions since it opened in the fall of 2020, including:

  • 2021 Healthcare Design Showcase, Award of Merit
  • 2021 Healthcare Design Remodel/Renovation Competition, Bronze Award
  • 2021 Fast Company World Changing Ideas, Finalist
  • 2021 Interior Design Best of Year Healthcare, Finalist

The lab is currently testing out new robotics equipment, making minimally invasive surgeries a possibility for patients with a high BMI, as well as building virtual reality simulations of patients to test out complex surgical procedures to minimize complications.