Smile Train and BioDigital Shatter Barriers in Surgical Training Technology with Innovative, Accessible New App


Around the globe, particularly in limited-resource settings and remote regions, access to ongoing surgical training threatens the quality of surgical outcomes and the availability of life-saving care. These challenges have only grown during the COVID-19 pandemic. While it is equipped with the same features as the web-based simulator, the app can overcome connectivity issues that frequently occur in remote areas. During the pandemic, it has become a valuable supplement to hands-on training for surgeons in every stage of their career and skills development.

The Smile Train Virtual Surgery Simulator app was developed under the leadership of Roberto L. Flores, MD. Dr. Flores, who serves as the medical director of the Virtual Surgery Simulator and recently joined Smile Train’s Global Medical Advisory Board, is the Joseph G. McCarthy Associate Professor of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Director of Cleft Lip and Palate at NYU Langone Health.

“Tools that overcome common barriers are an essential part of providing sustainable care, ensuring the best outcomes for patients, and advancing health equity. The accessibility of this mobile app will put cutting-edge training technology in the hands of physicians who are saving lives every day,” said Dr. Flores, medical director of the Virtual Surgery Simulator. 

“We’re proud to have worked with Smile Train for over 20 years, with a mutual goal of making more accessible, higher-quality training tools,” said Aaron Oliker, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at BioDigital, Inc. “As a trailblazer that welcomes and embraces new technology, Smile Train has been a true partner in helping us craft more comprehensive digital training tools for medical professionals in developing countries.”

Smile Train’s sustainable model empowers local medical professionals with training, funding and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. For the last 21 years, Smile Train has supported safe, high-quality cleft care for more than 1.5 million children and will continue to do so until every child in need born with a cleft has access to the care they deserve.

“Complex challenges require innovative solutions, and Smile Train is committed to developing those solutions with our partners,” said Susannah Schaefer, Smile Train President & Chief Executive Officer. “Under the leadership of Dr. Flores, digital simulation training is advancing to the next level. This will be invaluable for our partners and the patients we support, particularly as the pandemic continues to impact our global community.”

The app is available on Apple or Android in the app store and can be found under “Smile Train Biodigital”.  For more information on Smile Train’s Medical Advisory Board, please visit To learn more about Smile Train’s global efforts and to make a donation, please visit Follow Smile Train on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrain and like us on Facebook at

About Smile Train
Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. To learn more about how Smile Train’s sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit

About Dr. Roberto Flores
Roberto L. Flores, MD, is the Endowed Joseph G. McCarthy Associate Professor of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, Director of Cleft Lip and Palate and the Craniofacial Surgery Fellowship Director in the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone Health. Dr. Flores is an internationally recognized leader in cleft lip and palate, Pierre Robin sequence and surgical simulation. He currently has over one million dollars in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to investigate bone tissue engineering solutions in the growing craniofacial skeleton. Through strategic partnerships between philanthropy, industry and medicine, he has led the development of three, freely available, web-based multimedia plastic surgery simulators, including the Smile Train Virtual Surgery Simulator, the most widely utilized surgical simulator for cleft lip and palate reconstruction with over 4000 users in over 140 countries.

About BioDigital, Inc.
BioDigital, Inc. is a New York-based biomedical software company dedicated to making health and the human body understandable to all people. Our flagship product, the BioDigital Human, is a comprehensive virtual model of the human body, including anatomy, physiology, conditions, and treatments. Our platform empowers users to create immersive experiences in any web or mobile application using interactive, 3D technology to visualize the inner workings of the human body.

Media Contacts
Nijha Diggs
Smile Train
[email protected] 

Stephanie Baber
[email protected] 

SOURCE Smile Train

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