by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | January 19, 2018
3D Systems and Stryker are teaming up to provide greater access to personalized surgical planning and techniques for health care professionals.
The exclusive distribution partnership will focus on the development and distribution of virtual surgical planning and anatomical models for the craniomaxillofacial specialty, to reduce hours that surgeons and patients spend in the operating room.
“For the first time you can pre-plan surgery for patients before going to the operating room. This enables real surgical planning,” Katie Weimer, vice president of medical devices at 3D Systems, told HCB News. “Once in surgery, surgeons are better prepared. In fact, prior to operation, the surgeon is able to try multiple techniques on the computer. That way they're making the best plan for the patient ahead of time.”
The collaboration utilizes the sales resources of Stryker's Craniomaxillofacial business and 3D Systems’ VSP technology with the planning process starting through an online web meeting between the surgeon and a 3D Systems biomedical engineer.
The surgeon provides their clinical knowledge and what they wish to be included in the plan to the engineer, who then uses the VSP technology to produce 3-D printed patient-specific models, guides, and templates that outline the plan for surgeons to use during procedures.
VSP technology consists of a combination of D2P (DICOM-to-Print), Geomagic Freeform, and 3-D printing preparation and management softwares, such as 3DXpert for metals and 3D Sprint for plastics. These, together, help to organize digital workflow from medical imaging to 3-D printed models.
The use of D2P software makes anatomical modeling workflow less complex. CT scans are converted to digital 3-D models that are then sent directly to a 3-D printer.
Weimer says such models are more than just a physical guide for surgeons, but also act as an educational tool for residents learning how to perform surgical procedures.
“By combining the strengths of both companies, this partnership allows us to better support the rapidly evolving needs of our customers and accelerate innovation in the area of personalized medicine,” she said.
3D Systems, along with Stratasys, recently partnered with Royal Philips
to provide radiologists using its IntelliSpace Portal 10 with expedited printing access for the creation of patient anatomy models. Stryker also established a 3-D printing partnership
in June with GE Additive.
3D Systems’ VSP technology is FDA-cleared as a service-based approach to personalized surgery with combined expertise in medical imaging, surgical simulation and 3-D printing.
The partnership is specific to the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.