Dr. Koen Willemsen
M3Dical’s VHBC initiative tries to advance new 3D based technologies from novel ideas to patient care and therefore strengthen the patient-centred approach. This allows us to treat either patients who could not be treated with conventional methods or treat patients by improving the limited conventional methods.
M3Dical’s VHBC initiative tries to advance new 3D based technologies from novel ideas to patient care and therefore strengthen the patient-centred approach. This allows us to treat either patients who could not be treated with conventional methods or treat patients by improving the limited conventional methods. These technologies allow us to acknowledge every patient as an unique individual that could benefit from a patient-specific approach. Eventually these technologies will reduce costs by improving diagnostics, lowering the amount of revision surgeries and increase the surgeon’s and patient’s contentment. 3D Medical tries to expand the availability of these technologies, which are currently reserved for rare cases, to regular care patients.
Background: UMCU 3D Medical is a unique initiative started within the walls of the hospital to centralize all knowledge concerning 3D technology within one group or initiative. Before our initiative every hospital department staffed it’s own small 3D lab and this led to inefficient care with extensive costs and minimal added patient value. The initiative that followed allowed us to work cost-effective by sharing expertise, information, equipment and personnel to focus time and expenses on patient care. In the beginning the targeted patient group of the initiative were patients who had no other treatment options left.
Methods: During the care of the rare patients who couldn’t find help in conventional methods we encountered some extraordinary cases e.g. two patients with a severely endangered spinal cord and loss of neurological function who were in need for a vertebral body replacement surgery. The (regulatory and medical) challenges we had to overcome to 3D-print and insert these world’s first patient-specific biomechanical spine replacements implants were well documented and published globally to act as a precedent for our and other hospitals to treat patient with methods alike.
Patient description: The world’s first implantations of the spinal implants let to a increase of unique patients who could not find treatment elsewhere. The subsequent increase in expertise and knowledge let to the expansion of these rare-used techniques to improve treatment of more commonly used conventional methods. Saw and drill guides, anatomical models and in silico models were developed to improve surgery time, accuracy, patient satisfaction and reducing the revisions rates and overall costs, which increases patient value.
& Scope: 3D medical’s target is to be an asset to every treated patient
within our own health institution and to be an example to every other hospitals
to create an centralized department for patient-specific 3D innovation of their
Results: Our initiative has treated >250 patients via this patient centred approach and already collaborates with multiple hospitals as a guide in establishing a 3D medical initiative of their own. IPU: An European-backed international research collaboration was started to ultimately form an interdisciplinary team that focusses on patient-specific technologies and approached. The central coordinating IPU consists of multiple departments’ chief-of-staff as advisory board, 1 professor, 5 technicians, 3 physicians, Outside the IPU: 3D-printing technicians, sterilisation-personnel and business case managers. Speciality focussed IPU’s are created when demand rises.