Although the medical sector is among the demanding sectors in the 3D printing industry, it should be noted that the use of this technology is still at its early stage in this sector. Partnerships definitely enable to push the sector and the technology forward, especially, when they combine the software technology and the hardware. The partnership between Stratasys and Materialise is a good example of such type of partnership, Materialise for the software and Stratasys for the hardware.
GE Healthcare and VA Puget Sound Health Care System signed a similar partnership to expand the use of 3D printing in Patient Care. In this case, GE Healthcare will provide software and work stations, and the VA will provide input on its use of the technology.
Indeed, GE Additive is more than aware of the current limitations that professionals can face in the use of software in an additive manufacturing process. According to Christine Furstoss, CTO of GE Additive, some of these limitations include the mastery of software, the digital threat as well as the lack of interoperability.
Anyway, prior to this partnership, the VA has used 3D software that is not designed for medical use. While using GE software, they will be able to reduce the time it takes to create 3D models from hours to minutes. GE Healthcare’s technology will be integrated across its facilities in Seattle, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Cleveland and Salt Lake City.
Speaking about the use of software by professionals of the healthcare industry, GE explained that “VA radiologists will be able to produce models of normal and pathological anatomy using automation techniques that will speed up the pre-3D printing preparation work and the diagnostic process. This is expected to reduce the time it takes to create 3D models from hours to minutes.”
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