Three leading 3D printing companies have today announced new products and partnerships at the 2017 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting.
3D Systems introduced the Volume Virtual Reality (VR) software and a partnership with Phillips Healthcare, while Stratasys announced the launch of BioMimics 3D printed medical models solution. Materialise also announced a partnership with Siemens Healthineers which will promote the adoption of the Mimics inPrint software.
The Volume Virtual Reality software allows physicians to upload patient scan data and immediately visualise medical datasets in virtual reality. 3D Systems says there is no segmentation and the software saves time, while producing similar results to those seen on high-end imaging workstations. The company has sought to implement VR capabilities to allow users to better prepare for surgical procedures thanks to the visualisation capabilities it boasts. Volume Virtual Reality is based on DICOM to PRINT (D2P) technology as part of a broader offering which 3D Systems is confident will help medical professionals to quickly create accurate 3D anatomical models from imaging data.
Further strengthening the company’s commitment to the healthcare market, 3D Systems has also announced the signing of an agreement with Phillips which will give the healthcare company’s customers seamless access to 3D printed models. The partnership between the two companies is set to help physicians understand patient anatomy, and in the most complex cases, deliver personalised medicine.
“In just over a decade, 3D printing has made patient-specific anatomical models routine. From pre-surgical planning to using the models as guides in the operating room, these tools have made complex procedures more simple and precise,” said Evan Garfein, M.D., of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Montefiore Health System. “With the arrival of D2P software we now have advanced software and 3D printers that are accessible to surgeons at the point-of-care. It is the beginning of a new era in personalised medicine and surgical 3D printing.”
“3D Systems continues to deliver on the growing need of the medical community for innovative and adaptive tools designed to provide better insights, better processes and better outcomes,” said Kevin McAlea, executive vice president, general manager, Metals and Healthcare, 3D Systems. “Our extensive and growing offering of precision healthcare and medical 3D printing solutions provides the means and skills for medical professionals to overcome today’s challenges and advance the future of patient care.”
Stratasys’ BioMimics is an advanced capability to 3D print medical models, engineered to meet the demands of the industry’s leading hospitals, per the company.
The latest healthcare product to come from the global 3D printing company will initially be offered only in North America through the Stratasys Direct Manufacturing division. It is said to offer ‘incredibly realistic’ and functionally accurate 3D printed replicas of complex anatomical structures, which should lead to more effective medical training and advanced device testing.
BioMimics removes the restrictions often experienced during training, research and testing on animal, mannequin, or cadaver models. Stratasys says it mirrors the intricacies of both soft tissue and hard bones, thanks to the company’s multi-material 3D printing technology, materials and software. Developed in collaboration with ‘top researchers and manufacturers’ the BioMimics service initially covers fully-functional bone and heart models, with vascular structures expected early next year.
“Testing innovative medical devices, teaching principles of surgery, providing continuing medical education, and demonstrating new products to clinicians all require ‘bench-top’ models that simulate human bodies and diseases. Much like simulation and co-piloting builds expertise for pilots, medical practitioners hone skills throughout their careers to provide exceptional care,” said Scott Rader, GM of Healthcare Solutions at Stratasys. “The challenges of today’s solutions include animal models that only approximate human anatomy, and cadavers that don’t retain the live-tissue feel and often lack targeted pathology. BioMimics is a revolution in medical modelling, capitalising on advanced 3D printing techniques for clinically accurate representations of complex human anatomised – from microscopic patterns of tissue to replicating soft to hard texture of body structures.”
“The Jacobs Institute has been using Stratasys 3D printing solutions to replicate vascular anatomy for many years. The BioMimics capabilities Stratasys has now developed enable a level of biomechanical realism and clinical sophistication not previously available in any vascular model.” added Dr. Adnan Siddiqui, Chief Medical Officer at Jacobs Institute, Vice-Chairman and Professor of Neurosurgery at University of Buffalo Neurosurgery. “BioMimics will enhance medical innovation in vascular disease by enabling improved pre-clinical validation of new devices and clinically realistic training simulators.”
Like 3D Systems, Stratasys also struck a deal with Phillips. This agreement includes virtually seamless interfacing and dedicated workflows across Philips IntelliSpace Portal 10 and Stratasys Direct Manufacturing’s parts-on-demand service – allowing a broader range of medical professionals to improve training, research and surgical planning through 3D printing.
“Our interfacing with Philips IntelliSpace Portal 10 is designed to make it faster for doctors and their patients to receive customised, pre-surgical models,” commented Greg Reynolds, VP of Additive Manufacturing at Stratasys Direct Manufacturing.
Working alongside Siemens Healthineers, Materialise is to work to deliver its Mimics inPrint software to hospitals around the world.
The software, which supplements the printing of anatomical models in hospitals, is now available through Siemens Healthineers’ syngo.via open platform. It will serve to facilitate collaboration between radiologists and surgical teams in procedures that lean on 3D printed models.
“We believe 3D printing is going to revolutionise the medical industry and we are always looking for ways to improve accessibility of our 3D printing software to more patients and hospitals,” said Brigitte de Vet, Vice President of Medical at Materialise. “By partnering with other global healthcare leaders like Siemens Healthineers, we can do just that, and more importantly, we can further contribute to a better and healthier world.”
“By incorporating 3D technology into syngo.via, we jointly support the entire workflow from patient diagnosis to therapy planning,” added Valentin Ziebandt, Head of Marketing at the Syngo Business Line at Siemens Healthineers. “This is a cost-effective way to increase the clinical capabilities of syngo.via and an important step towards achieving personalised care and precision medicine.”