SOMERVILLE, Mass., Dec. 02, 2019 – GE Healthcare and Formlabs, today announced a collaboration that will enable clinicians to easily make 3D printed, patient-specific models from imaging data at a lower cost. Anatomical models that allow the combination of hands-on and visual communication and coordination amongst radiologists, surgeons, trainees, and patients around the world.
Historically, software designed to allow manual preparation of image data into 3D printable files has been labor intensive, requiring hours of work. Using the GE Healthcare Advantage Workstationtm (AW) advanced visualization tools, specifically designed for the medical community, radiologists are able to produce models of normal and pathological anatomy using automation techniques that will speed up the pre-3D printing preparation work by taking advantage of the AW’s diagnostic workflow. This can help to reduce the time to create segmented STL and OBJ files required for 3D models from hours to minutes. By bringing together all imaging techniques, AW boosts productivity across all modalities (CT, MR, PET, SPECT, Interventional), and presents a consistent user interface for over 55 clinical applications.
Radiologists specializing in cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, neurology, and other areas will use an exclusive GE Healthcare/Formlabs bundle, which includes GE Healthcare’s AW and Formlabs hardware plus materials. Formlabs will include a GE Healthcare exclusive service offering for training to enable our radiology customers in North America and Europe to ‘get started’ in printing anatomical models onsite at the hospital in two days.
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Combined with technology from Formlabs, including the Form 3B printer, PreForm print preparation software, and over 20 proprietary resins with unique properties, radiologists and biomedical engineers will be able to serve various surgical specialties with a single workflow. Further time savings are experienced with new Formlabs features, including the ability to start and monitor prints remotely, as well as the introduction of Light Touch Supports that allow for nearly immediate support removal. Formlabs materials, including biocompatible resins, are made at its in-house, US-based, ISO 13485 certified facility.
3D printing is primarily used to manufacture orthopedic implants and guide surgical cutting, and peer-reviewed research on potential impact in patient care has expanded exponentially. Recent industry and regulatory advancements such as the establishment of clinical guidelines, 3D printing reimbursement tracking codes, and the integration of technology and software are all expected to support the widespread adoption of point-of-care 3D printing in hospitals.