Formlabs and GE Healthcare Collaborate to Offer Customer End-to-End Solution for 3D Printed Patient Models
Dec. 02, 2019, GE Healthcare and Formlabs announced a collaboration that ill 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.
Image via Formlabs
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.
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.
“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,” said 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.”
“Formlabs is proud to collaborate with GE Healthcare, a true pioneer and leader in medical imaging, as both organizations share an aim to support the practice of medicine and the pursuit of precision health. This collaboration represents an important milestone for the medical 3D printing community and will hopefully serve as a catalyst for its growth. 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,” said Gaurav Manchanda, Director of Healthcare at Formlabs.