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Radiology and 3D Printing: It’s Time to Pop the Big Question

by • January 18, 2016 • No Comments

It is effortless to see that 3D printing and healthcare have a really great relationship. We’ve watched as this pairing has poured forth with medical models, prosthetics, and countless other beneficial products and processes. Only the most die-hard of Luddites may, at the point, question the footing upon that this relationship was based. Now it appears the time is coming for yet another declaration of dedication, this time between 3D printing and radiology…and what a lovely couple they manufacture.

conjoined_twins_software_imageThis year’s meeting of the Radiological Society of North America may not have been the location of choice for a sweethearts’ getaway, but all the signs in the air spoke of a burgeoning romance between additive making and conference attendees. Workshops were sold out well in advance of the conference and were given to standing room only crowds desperately bringing pictures with cell phones of every slide in the presentation. It was clear that the attendees were love struck.

So what is it that radiology is finding so attractive? The siren song of 3D printing comes of the opportunities it provides for radiologists to up the take away that they provide to their clients. The report is that the ultimate product of a radiology consultation may move beyond the document and provide an enhanced and consume service box. To Nadim Michel Daher, Industry Principal, Medical Imaging and Imaging Informatics at Frost & Sullivan, the benefits of advancing iStock_000009260879Largethe relationship between radiology and 3D printing are clear:

“What if radiology’s current product and service may both be augmented in a big way through 3D printing? What if radiology’s service line may expand to provide not only image interpretations, insights, and recommendations based on images, but in addition customized surgical guides and positioners, patient-specific prostheses, biocompatible implants for regenerative medicine, or deformable-bodied models for surgical training? The opportunities for radiology seem endless and are in fact coming of age.”

But what Daher sees goes beyond an appreciation for the beauty of 3D printing. Instead, he sees the ways in that a fully created partnership can be a mutually beneficial growth opportunity (that can be the most jargon yet for ‘true love’). Rather than storeing 3D printing on the side, he advocates for the formation of a bond between radiology and the 3D printing aspects of the medical industry. In other words, 3D printing is not a thing that may only be done with radiology results, but rather 3D printing may be an essential part of the services that radiology provides.

Nadim Daher-white_4-170x213It may seem like splitting hairs, but it’s in fact a rather profound proposition. If radiology can pretty position itself as the provider of medical 3D printing service line, that may be really a coup for the field. After all, nobody envisions a next in that there is less 3D printing rather than additional. Daher explains:

“As clinical use cases alter, the business case for an integrated approach to 3D printing in health care enterprises is becoming much stronger. Similar to the centralized 3D labs that most sizeable-bodied institutions have created around the high end visualization and image post-processing functions, centralized 3D printing labs may be most able-bodied to assist the variety of needs of various clinical stakeholders in an enterprise. As such, who advantageous than radiology, a central clinical function in its really essence, to take ownership of this new enterprise service line?”

This is the equivalent to bringing 3D printing to a romantic dinner and and so getting down on one knee to ask for its hand. With so most admirers, who knows if 3D print is eager for this kind of dedication or if the possibility for it to be wooed by another yet exists.

At the really very least, no matter how it unfolds, this is one celebrity relationship that can most most likely be able-bodied to store out of the tabloids.