The National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) and the National Taiwan University (NTU) aim to provide innovative and creative medical treatment in Taiwan. NTUH’s mission is to strengthen collaboration with schools, industries, and academic research units while jointly engaging in smart medical care. NTUH have already tested several 3D tools with the aim of improving their efficiency and these tools were quite successful.
Limited Implementation of Preoperative Surgical Planning
Surgical planning models are critical for surgeons and physicians for a variety of reasons, including improved diagnoses, clarifying treatment decisions, and planning and carrying out the surgery. Traditional options for sources of NTUH are restricted to third-party vendors. However, mass-produced, ready-made models are ineffective within the context of a patient’s unique illness. With a limited selection of models and sizing that is different from the patient, ready-made models are ineffective for learning illnesses that are specific to the patient. Customized models that work better than mass-produced models require a large investment of time and money.
Effectiveness and Efficiency from Flexible Workflow
With the intent of streamlining custom surgical planning models, NTUH began utilizing 3D scanning and 3D printing. These technologies improve clinical convenience and assist units in developing clinical tools. With an in-house 3D printer, NTUH can print models specific to a patients’ body, legs, hips or elbows within a few days, completely changing the work process while improving the training process.
Former Process: Total Cost=100,000 NTD/Pcs, Time=Two or more weeks
Current Process: Material Cost=4,500 NTD/Pcs, Time=5 days (Scanning+Modeling+Printing)
Operating a 3D printer is pollution-free, space-saving, and easy to operate which is beneficial in any clinical environment, and makes it possible for a 3D printer to be operated inside the hospital. Since 3D printing is an automatic process, the amount of material used in the printing process is one of the contributors to the overall cost of producing a printed part. The result of NTUH’s 3D printing process is a 3D printed part that is a precise replica of the scanned patient’s body part. If needed, the operating team can print several 1:1 scale body parts and assemble them into even a half-body replica.
Quick Workflow Upgrade with Raise3D
NTUH found the Raise3D printer and software solution useful in improving clinical practice. The Pro2 dual extruder 3D printer’s build volume is capable of producing 3D printed parts that are large enough to replicate a patient’s anatomy. The printer’s dual extruders enable NTUH to print parts with dual colors for an intuitive appearance, and a complicated structure using PVA support material. Unlike traditional manufacturing equipment, Raise3D printers provide a user-friendly interface with a mounted touch screen and a learning curve that does not conflict with the medical staffs’ schedule.
Implementing ideaMaker and RaiseCloud allowed NTUH to monitor and control the printer remotely, either from a computer or a smartphone. With this feature, all labs and clinics inside the NTUH network can assign a printing task to the same printer while staying in their workspace, wherever it may be.
An Essential Tool for Hospitals
3D printing preoperative planning models significantly improve a hospital’s internal process which in turn improves patient treatment. The efficiency of the 3D printing process and the effectiveness of model customization make the 3D printer an essential tool for hospitals.
This case is shared by Kiden Trading Ltd., Co. which is distributor of Raise3D in Taiwan.