GE Healthcare has announced a partnership with VA Puget Sound Health Care System to accelerate the use of 3D imaging and 3D printed anatomical models for medical applications. VA Puget Sound Health Care System is a government-run healthcare program for veterans serving states in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
GE Healthcare has signed onto a research collaboration which will see the company provide 3D software and work stations to the VA, which will in turn provide feedback on the technologies back to GE.
Notably, the software provided by GE Healthcare is designed specifically for medical applications and for preparing 3D printable models. The integration of this platform at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System will mark its first time using 3D software specifically for the medical sector. With the technology, the partners are hopeful the VA will drastically reduce the time needed to create 3D models, from hours to mere minutes.
Through the partnership, the VA and the Veterans Health Administration Innovators Network will integrate GE Healthcare’s AW VolumeShare workstations with 3D printing software at facilities in Seattle, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Cleveland and Salt Lake City. Once implemented, medical professionals and radiologists specializing in various medical areas will use the software to develop new 3D imaging approaches to improve custom care for veterans.
“The Veterans Health Administration has been on the forefront of bringing 3D printing to the bedside, and we are thrilled to join forces with GE Healthcare to enhance and accelerate its adoption,” commented Beth Ripley, MD, PhD, VA Puget Sound radiologist, VA Innovation Specialist and VHA 3D Printing Advisory Committee chair. “For most radiologists, 3D images are limited to reconstructions on a computer screen. By harnessing the power of 3D printing with a rich data set, we are able to pull images out of the screen and into our hands, allowing us to interact with the data in a deeper way to fuel innovative, personalized care based on the unique needs of each of our patients.”
By adding GE Healthcare’s 3D imaging software tools to its facilities, VA Puget Sound will be better equipped to produce 3D printed anatomical models based on patient-specific CT or MRI data. The level of automation in the software, along with its advanced visualization tools, will enable medical professionals to speed up the generation of 3D models, resulting in a faster diagnostic process.
3D printed models made from the software can be used for a range of applications, including for pre-surgical planning, training and more.
“We are delighted to partner with the Veterans Administration to accelerate 3D printing in healthcare,” said Terri Bresenham, Chief Innovation Officer for GE Healthcare. “This partnership will result in significant innovation for the growing application of additive manufacturing in medicine while advancing GE Healthcare toward its mission to improve patient outcomes and enable precision healthcare.”