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Objective: The Global IDEAL Sub-Framework Study aimed to combine the intended effects of the 2009/2019 IDEAL (Idea, Development, Exploration, Assessment, Long-term study) Framework recommendations on evaluating surgical innovation with the vision outlined by the 2015 Lancet Commission on Global Surgery to provide recommendations for evaluating surgical innovation in low-resource environments. Design: A mixture of methods including an online global survey and semistructured interviews (SSIs). Quantitative data were summarized with descriptive statistics and qualitative data were analyzed using the Framework Method. Participants: Surgeons and surgical researchers from any country. Main outcome measures: Findings were used to suggest the nature of adaptations to the IDEAL Framework to address the particular problems of evaluation in low-resource settings. Results: The online survey yielded 66 responses representing experience from 40 countries, and nine individual SSIs were conducted. Most respondents (n=49; 74.2%) had experience evaluating surgical technologies across a range of life cycle stages. Innovation was most frequently adopted based on colleague recommendation or clinical evaluation in other countries. Four themes emerged, centered around: frugal innovation in technological development; evaluating the same technology/innovation in different contexts; additional methodologies important in evaluation of surgical innovation in low/middle-income countries; and support for low-income country researchers along the evaluation pathway. Conclusions: The Global IDEAL Sub-Framework provides suggestions for modified IDEAL recommendations aimed at dealing with the special problems found in this setting. These will require validation in a stakeholder consensus forum, and qualitative assessment in pilot studies. From assisting researchers with identification of the correct evaluation stage, to providing context-specific recommendations relevant to the whole evaluation pathway, this process will aim to develop a comprehensive and applicable set of guidance that will benefit surgical innovation and patients globally.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Surgery, Interventions, & Health Technologies


BMJ Publishing Group

Publication Date





Device Evaluation