The DrillCover is a reusable, sterilisable cover that prolongs the life of specialised surgical drills and makes it safe to use ordinary power tools in orthopaedic surgery, reducing the financial costs for rural medical facilities.

The DrillCover is a reusable, sterilisable cover for surgical drills that makes it safe to use ordinary drills for orthopaedic surgery, and prolongs the life of specialised surgical drills. While many off-the-shelf drills deliver the same power as specialised surgical drills, they are not designed to be repeatedly sterilised. This can cause hygiene issues from improper cleaning, and increase waiting times for potentially life-saving surgery due to a lack of available equipment.

The DrillCover envelops the drill and prevents bacteria from being transferred between patients. The covers can simply be switched out between surgeries and cleaned separately, without having to sterilise the whole piece of equipment. Thanks to this technology, medical facilities can purchase one regular power drill and five DrillCovers for less than 10% of the cost of a hospital grade orthopaedic drill.

The product was first piloted in Uganda, where the company witnessed a number of patients with common musculoskeletal injuries that could not be safely operated on due to a lack of equipment and resources. It is now used in four countries in Africa and some disaster relief zones.

Why you should care

Surgical equipment is prohibitively expensive and therefore inaccessible to many medical facilities, with drills costing upwards of $30,000. In developing country contexts this may either result in reduced access to life-saving surgery, or the surgery being performed using ordinary power tools or manual hand drills. Without proper sterilisation, this can be unhygienic and dangerous. Even in facilities with expensive orthopaedic drills, surgeons often have to put off surgeries whilst waiting for drills to be sterilised. The DrillCover allows surgeons to perform more timely, life-saving surgeries more safely.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Good health and well-being

The DrillCover increases access to crucial medical equipment by making it  more affordable and hygienic.

Responsible consumption and production

DrillCovers improves the longevity of surgical drills through reducing the need for sterilisation which can corrode and damage the drills and batteries.