Fried Vancraen, CEO of Materialise NV, headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, is reported to have called upon industry stakeholders to come to an agreement for a common standard for measuring the clinical, economical and patient benefits of medical Additive Manufacturing in delivering better patient outcomes. Materialise will be leading this on-going initiative as the founding sponsor of the SME’s Building Evidence for 3D Printing Applications in Medicine event taking place in Orlando, Florida, USA, May 19-20, 2016.
It is becoming increasingly clear, claims Materialise, that additive manufactured anatomical models, guides and implants will be part of the future of patient treatment, for more than just complex procedures. But, unlike the mass-produced medical device industry, adoption of Additive Manufacturing needs more generally accepted measurement standards. The application of consistent and complete evidence gathering methodologies across the industry could significantly foster the adoption of 3D Printing application in the healthcare sector.
The report calls for a set of globally accepted guidelines adopted by the major medical 3D printing industry players to convince key stakeholders such as physicians, hospitals and policy makers, to accelerate adoption of the technology. What is more, governmental bodies and insurance companies are more likely to be open to including medical 3D printing as part of their approved list of medical procedures and devices, leaving patients with the opportunity to leverage the best solutions that technology has to offer for their care, the report states.
“There have been several initiatives aimed at properly measuring and validating the clinical benefits of medical 3D Printing, but all have suffered from a lack of coordination and agreed upon research methodologies,” stated Vancraen. “The fact is, we can only be successful if we take an evidence-based approach across the industry, acting in concert with a set of protocols, methodologies and measurement guidelines. With the proper scientific rigor, our ambition of gaining widespread acceptance of medical 3D Printing will be realised more swiftly, and the patients whom we aim to serve will benefit the most.”
Materialise is committing to take a leadership role in what it states has to be an industry-wide initiative to begin studying and designing a new evidence-based approach that will factor in all key perspectives: economical, clinical, engineering and patient. “The goal is nothing short of establishing the groundwork for producing solid clinical evidence on 3D printed medical applications, including anatomical models, patient-specific guides and implants,” added Vancraen. “Anything short of this will slow down the wonders of medical 3D Printing from becoming available to patients and medical professionals the world over.”