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Materialise CEO calls for common methodology to expand medical 3D printing

Recognizing that meaningful uptake of 3D printing in the medical space will require widespread acceptance of the technology by key stakeholders, including physicians, hospitals and regulatory and government officials, the CEO of Materialise NV (Leuven, Belgium) has launched an appeal to adopt an industry-wide “evidence-based approach.”

Fried Vancraen, CEO, Materialise.

It is becoming increasingly clear that 3D-printed anatomical models, guides and implants will be part of the future of patient treatment, and not just for complex procedures, writes Materialise, a pioneer in additive manufacturing and 3D printing, in a news release. “The adoption of 3D printing needs more generally accepted measurement standards. The application of consistent and complete evidence-gathering methodologies across the industry could significantly foster the adoption of 3D-printing applications in the healthcare sector,” adds the company. In addition to winning over the aforementioned stakeholders, these guidelines would also prompt insurance companies to include 3D printing among its approved list of medical procedures and devices.

“There have been several initiatives aimed at properly measuring and validating the clinical benefits of medical 3D printing, but all have suffered from a lack of coordination and agreed-upon research methodologies,” said Materialise CEO Fried Vancraen. “The fact is, we can only be successful if we take an evidence-based approach across the industry, acting in concert with a set of protocols, methodologies and measurement guidelines. With the proper scientific rigor, our ambition of gaining widespread acceptance of medical 3D printing will be realized more swiftly, and the patients whom we aim to serve will benefit the most.”

Materialise is bringing this message to the Building Evidence for 3D Printing Applications in Medicine event hosted by manufacturing association SME and sponsored by the company. It follows the RAPID Conference, an annual 3D printing and additive manufacturing event, on May 19 and 20 in Orlando, FL.

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