A new bespoke medical simulator company based in Singapore has announced the launch of its online store offering a range of models for healthcare professionals to plan surgeries and training challenges. AuMed, a subsidiary of 3D printing solutions provider Creatz3D, will initially be offering three different model series: ear, heart, and swab procedure training models for testing COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus.
“We’re proud to be offering high-fidelity simulators to better support our customers in medical education, research and development, and medical device demonstrations,” said Sean Looi, AuMed’s General Manager. “Off-the-shelf models are typically generic and lacking details. Users are looking for models that show specific conditions or offer tactile feedback to replicate scenarios as realistically as possible. Our models are derived from DICOM and include features that off-the-shelf models lack. Modularization can also be applied to designs for reduced costs in the long run, space-saving, or reflection of different conditions. Customization is available upon request.”
Originally operating as a division within Singapore-based Creatz3D, a rebranding exercise saw AuMed being conceived in 2019 with a long term goal of assisting the medical industry and better serving the community with dedicated simulators. Today, AuMed specializes in offering high-fidelity simulators to support its customers in medical education, research, and development, as well as medical device demonstrations. The simulators which are derived from medical digital imaging and communications (DICOM) include unique features that existing traditional models lack.
AuMed considers its medical models have an unprecedented cutting-edge realism for pre-surgical planning, enhancing medical device demonstrations, and carrying out realistic hands-on educational training. By bringing to market its innovative products, the company expects to help reduce patient risk, as well as the use of cadavers in medical courses and workshops.
Through the newly launched shop, AuMed offers a series of heart models that can simulate everything from soft tissue and muscles, and are pathology-specific to accommodate a more realistic way of learning. These heart simulators can also reflect different congenital heart diseases, such as Double Outlet Right Ventricle (DORV), Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), Transposition of great arteries (including ccTGA), Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS), among others.
To create pathology-specific heart simulators for medical education and training, AuMed used a workflow that involved 3D digital reconstructions of the heart myocardium extracted from DICOM images. According to the company, prior to the 3D fabrication stage of these tangible simulators, a prototyping phase was introduced in order to curate 3D materials which enabled realistic tactile feedback for users.
In response to training needs for COVID-19 identification and collection of respiratory specimens, AuMed also developed 3D printed medical manikin models for training of both nasal and throat swabs. The company’s Respiratory Swab Collection Training Simulator was originally designed to help swabbers in Singapore ramp-up wider swab testing efforts in unprecedented time. Swab tests are critical in the fight against COVID-19 to determine whether a person is infected and typically involve the collection of clinical test samples from the ack of the nose and throat by inserting a swab into the nostril.
In Singapore, training for swab collection is carried out by many health professionals who have voluntarily taken time off, as well as civilians who often do not possess medical knowledge, and the existing medical manikins in the market were not enough to help them train for the essential procedures and very costly, with prices starting at US$3,000.
Instead AuMed’s life-sized manikins that can simulate swab collection scenarios have targeted crucial anatomies specifically for respiratory swab collection. Using several anatomical 3D models derived from AuMed’s CT and MRI library, as well as Materialise’s software tools Mimics Innovation Suite (MIS) Medical, and Stratasys‘ J750, the company was able to produce the models in just four days including designing and 3D printing. Both the Respiratory Swab Collection Training Simulator, along with two other Nasal Swab Trainer sets are currently available for purchase in the online shop.
Besides the sale of the COVID-19 swab collection training simulators and heart series, AuMed also offers ear models, of both adults and children. They come with replaceable and inexpensive simulated eardrums that enable effective myringoplasty procedural training, a surgery required to repair a hole in the eardrum. The website also provides registered users exclusive access to featured case studies and resources that AuMed has done over the past few years, and marks the first phase of the company’s efforts to reach out to customers in Singapore and beyond.
AuMed has been actively working with doctors, educators, and researchers to improve patients’ lives. Partnering with organizations, academic institutions, and other businesses has so far proven a great way to grapple with the challenges of medical training and surgical simulation. Like many other MedTech companies, AuMed has turned to 3D printing technology for its cost and time-efficient way to resolve pressing issues that require quick and strategic solutions. The company also expects to add more models in the future.