ROCK HILL, South Carolina, November 5, 2020 – 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) have entered into a contract to employ additive manufacturing solutions to better serve Veterans with next-generation medical devices produced at the point of care. Through this collaboration, 3D Systems will support the Veterans Health Administration as they establish FDA-compliant manufacturing facilities within their hospitals for the production of additively manufactured medical devices. As a result, the VA network will streamline its supply chain and accelerate innovation to enhance personalized care for their patients – U.S. Veterans.
Point-of-care (POC) facilities increasingly show interest in using 3D solutions as new technology emerges, becomes more user friendly, and incorporates automation.
The VA will collaborate with 3D Systems’ healthcare additive manufacturing team to design medical devices and take them through FDA clearance. 3D Systems’ application experts will initially manage the regulatory paperwork and development of a quality management system at VHA facilities, and over time will train the VHA teams to take ownership of the process. The training will also include how to run the quality management system, and how to complete product submissions for regulatory clearance. The solution will include the company’s ProX® SLS 6100 3D printers and materials, as well as 3D Systems’ VSP®-related workflows and software.
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“In a highly regulated environment like healthcare, the technology is only a small part of the solution,” said Ben Johnson, director of product development, healthcare, 3D Systems. “What becomes more critical to customer success is the partnership with a company that has knowledge and expertise operating in a regulated environment. Through this collaboration, 3D Systems will not only be installing 3D printers at the VHA sites, but we’ll also be helping them install a quality management system that includes the processes, documentation, and training required to be compliant as a medical device manufacturer.”
This initiative is an expansion of the collaboration formed between 3D Systems and the VHA to address supply chain issues in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, the VA needed PPE – specifically face masks. As the final design for the Stop Gap face mask went into production, the VHA next turned to 3D Systems team to help develop a 3D-printed nasopharyngeal swab that could be printed on production level equipment.