GE Healthcare and Formlabs partner to enable additive manufacture of patient-specific anatomical models

GE Healthcare has partnered with Formlabs to enable clinicians to additively manufacture patient-specific anatomical models and enhance the training and delivery of surgical operations. 

The 3D printed models will be used to facilitate hands-on and visual communication between radiologists, surgeons, trainees and patients. 

As part of the collaboration, radiologists specialising in cardiology, oncology, orthopaedics and neurology will have access to a bundle of software, hardware and material products from both GE Healthcare and Formlabs. Formlabs’ recently launched Form 3B machine will be available to print models, while GE’s Advantage Workstation (AW) advanced visualisation tools will help to produce models of normal and pathological anatomy. This data can then be imported into Formlabs’ PreForm print preparation software before the build commences.

Medical professionals will have access to more than 20 proprietary resins and Formlabs’ Light Touch Supports which can be removed nearly immediately after the build has finished. Materials have been developed at the 3D printing vendor’s ISO 13485-certified facility in the United States. A GE Healthcare exclusive service is also being offered by Formlabs, which will see radiology customers in Europe and North America trained across two days at their hospital.

The two companies have come together to drive the application of additive manufacturing in the medical industry in the pursuit of ‘precision health’.

“When time is of the essence, GE Healthcare solutions help clinical imaging specialists get the diagnosis correct quickly and push the critical information they create into the hands of the broader care team,” commented R. Scott Rader, General Manager of GE Healthcare Additive Solutions. “At the same time, patients in the information age are playing a more critical role every year in their care, but simply presenting imaging data to patients as grayscale ‘slices’ through the body can create more confusion than answers. The virtual reality renderings clinical imagers see every day in radiology reading rooms on AW can now be exported via AW 3D Suite in seconds, imported into Formlabs PreForm and printed right at the site of care to add the sense of touch to what members of the care team see. This first step with Formlabs can help break down time and cost barriers to adoption of on-premises printing while empowering richer communication amongst care teams and their patients.”

“This collaboration represents an important milestone for the medical 3D printing community and will hopefully serve as a catalyst for its growth,” added Gaurav Manchanda, Director of Healthcare at Formlabs. “Our clinical customers should be able to serve more patients, more efficiently, with trusted, reliable and intuitive technologies. We are excited to see how this collaboration and other innovations may lead to improved quality of care and patient satisfaction, as well as financial benefits for healthcare systems.”

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