3D Systems announced Wednesday that it has teamed up with Stryker – one of the global leaders in medical technologies, for an exclusive distribution of Virtual Surgical Planning (VSP) and anatomical models for the craniomaxillofacial (CMF) specialty, a type of surgical specialty that involves treating defects in head, neck, face, jaws and maxillofacial (jaws and face) region. The collaboration will drive the availability of personalised surgical planning and techniques to healthcare professionals thereby saving both surgeons and patients time in the operating room.
Established by 3D Systems, the VSP technology is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a service-based approach to personalised surgery. The technology combines together expertise in medical imaging, surgical simulation and 3D printing. This is how the process works: 1) a surgeon shares the clinical knowledge and desired surgical plan with 3D Systems biomedical engineer to stimulate and plan the surgical procedure; 2) the outcome of the meeting is a digital plan, which is transferred to the operating room with the help of accurate 3D printed patient-specific models, guides and templates.
The main aim of the VSP technology is to provide surgeons with the expertise they need to apply precision to craniofacial surgery. Kevin McAlea, Executive Vice President, General Manager, metals and healthcare of 3D Systems, explained more about the technology in statement officially released by the company. Speaking about the technology, McAlea said, “Collaborating with surgeons to deliver the best possible patient outcomes is of the utmost importance to our company. “With the advancement of 3D printing, combined with the surgeon’s ability to use our Virtual Surgical Planning and anatomical modeling technologies, a patient’s life can be forever changed. It provides surgeons with the ability to have a clear 3D visualization of a patient’s anatomy and to develop a customized surgical plan prior to even entering the operating room,” added McAlea.
Speaking about the partnership with 3D Systems, David Mercado, Vice President and General Manager of Stryker, said, “This partnership allows us to better support the rapidly evolving needs of our customers and accelerate innovation in the area of personalized medicine. “We are very pleased that 3D Systems chose us as their long term collaborator in this space”.
Providing more details on how the partnership will benefit surgeons and help them change the lives of their patients, Katie Weimer, Vice President, Medical Devices, 3D Systems said, ““We have a history of achieving positive patient outcomes working with Stryker,”. “I am so proud to partner with a world leader in medical technologies to deliver our innovative solutions – helping surgeons change the lives of their patients”.
Virtual Surgical Planning has already been found in a study to foster multidisciplinary communication and provide accurate presurgical planning. In the study, whose main objective was to illustrate the utility of preoperative VSP, the technology was used in segmental resection and reconstruction of the mandible in eight patients aging 17-72 years and was found to be most effective in reconstruction of large mandibular defects.
By providing VSP or anatomical services in more than 100,000 cases, 3D Systems has established itself as a pioneer in the arena of personalised medicine. The teaming up of both the companies is said to provide Stryker’s specialised sales force access to 3D Systems’ cutting-edge 3D printing and patient-specific solutions and both the companies are said to offer superior level of service to healthcare professionals that use revolutionary products such as VSP. The company’s agreement with Stryker is limited just to Australia, Canada, Europe, and the USA.