Seamless integration of 3D printing ramps up in clinical environments

By: 
November 28, 2017

The annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, which is being held in Chicago this week through Dec. 1, has generated a fair amount of 3D printing news. Yesterday, we reported on Stratasys’ launch of BioMimics, which provides functionally accurate 3D-printed replicas of complex anatomical structures for the purposes of surgical planning, education and medical device testing. Since then, Stratasys and Materialise have announced agreements with Philips and Siemens, respectively, that integrate 3D printing technology within hospital infrastructures.

Materialise
Image courtesy Materialise.

Minneapolis-based Stratasys has signed an agreement with Philips that includes a seamless interface across its IntelliSpace Portal 10, an advanced visualization platform used by radiologists. It allows users of Philips’ informatics and data management system to rapidly design, order and produce 3D-printed anatomical structures on demand. Philips describes it as the “first solution to feature an embedded 3D modeling application for creating and exporting 3D models intuitively into the clinical workflow.” Philips has signed a similar agreement with 3D Systems. These partnerships with two of the leading 3D printing technology companies, said Philips, provide its customers with expedited access to 3D-printed models that help physicians understand patient anatomy that is otherwise difficult to visualize.

Belgium-based Materialise (Leuven), meanwhile, has struck a deal with medical technology company Siemens Healthineers. The agreement allows radiologists to print anatomical models using Materialise Mimics inPrint software, which has been integrated into Siemens Healthineers syngo.via open app platform.

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By integrating the software into syngo.via, Mimics inPrint is directly incorporated into the standard hospital workflow, said the company in a press release. “This will facilitate the integration of 3D printing within clinical environments, contributing to higher quality, cost-efficient care for patients and hospitals. Each patient will now have access to more personalized care through Materialise’s patient-specific anatomical models,” said the company.

Patient-specific 3D-printed anatomical models are a tremendously useful tool for physicians preparing to perform a complex procedure. Stratasys is also marketing its BioMimics software as a service to medical device manufacturers, who can test their newly developed products in a lifelike simulated environment. Speaking to Engineering.com, Stratasys’ Mike Gaisford explained, “When some of these engineers get their hands on 3D-printed models, this is the first time they’ve deployed their device in a clinically realistic environment. It really breaks down the barriers to performing the testing, training and understanding the anatomy. They’ve said, ‘Oh this is what the doctors are talking about when they’re describing the anatomy.’” 

To learn more about BioMimics, read “Stratasys debuts next-generation 3D-printed medical models.”

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