Formlabs is the first 3D printing company listed in a major group purchasing organization (GPO) catalog, demonstrating the increasing demand for 3D printed surgical tools and medical supplies in hospitals and Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs). Formlabs received a contract from Vizient, the largest member-driven healthcare GPO in the nation, to offer its 3D printers, materials, and solutions for converting CT/MR imaging into tactile, patient-specific anatomical replicas for surgical planning, implant sizing, and patient consent. The contract provides negotiated pricing, terms and conditions for Vizient member healthcare organizations.
The inclusion of Formlabs technologies in the Vizient catalog indicates the need for 3D printing in the medical community to help address many of the financial and operational challenges that arose for health systems as a result of the pandemic. According to the American Hospital Association, in 2020 hospitals lost $300 billion in revenue as a result of canceled non-emergency procedures and patients postponing care. This led Congress to allocate $70 billion in relief funding to hospitals via the CARES Act. Despite this, EBITDA margins for hospitals are down over 10% compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, even when incorporating federal aid into the equation.
According to the Healthcare Supply Chain Association (HSCA), the value of GPOs has increased since the onset of the pandemic and they will be critical through the recovery period and beyond. GPOs are entities that help healthcare providers access savings and efficiencies by conducting due diligence on suppliers, aggregating purchasing volume, and using that leverage to negotiate discounts with manufacturers, distributors and other vendors. GPOs manage 72% of all purchases that are made by hospitals and 97% of hospitals are affiliated with one or more GPOs. Vizient serves more than half of the healthcare organizations in the United States, including approximately 97% of academic medical centers.
Formlabs democratized access to 3D printing with its affordable, professional-grade technology that is validated in multiple FDA 510(k) cleared processes for manufacturing of surgical tools either within the hospital or by third-party vendors. Traditionally, 3D printing technology was prohibitively expensive for a majority of hospitals and only available to the largest, most well-resourced medical centers. Formlabs technology is utilized in hundreds of facilities ranging from world-renowned institutions,, to less-resourced, safety-net hospitals in the US and abroad, demonstrating the performance, acceptance, and accessibility of Formlabs medical materials, printers, and FDA-cleared processes. The company’s printers and medical device materials have been highlighted in over 1,500 publications in the field of surgery.
“The inclusion of the Formlabs technology ecosystem in the Vizient catalog signals an inflection point for 3D printing in the healthcare industry,” said Gaurav Manchanda, director of medical market development at Formlabs. “As the first 3D printing company to be listed in the largest and most prominent GPO catalog in the country, Formlabs has solidified its position as the leader driving adoption of 3D printing for precision surgery. With our proven printers, materials, and imaging-to-print solutions now available in the Vizient catalog, even more hospitals and surgical centers will be able to provide enhanced patient-specific care, patient consent, and physician education using cost-effective, easy-to-use technology.”
The use of 3D printing in healthcare increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which Formlabs technology was used to mass-produce over 70 million nasopharyngeal swabs for COVID-19 testing as traditional manufacturers were unable to meet demand. Over the past year, Formlabs saw a fourfold increase in the number of hospitals and health systems using its 3D printers. Now, as hospitals seek to recover lost revenue caused by the pandemic and expeditiously work through surgical backlogs, 3D printing will play a vital role in improving operational efficiencies and cost savings associated with using patient-matched preoperative planning tools and intraoperative surgical guides.
A wealth of clinical literature demonstrates that Formlabs’ 3D printed anatomical models and surgical guides reduce the time spent preparing for surgery and in the operating room, lower infection rates and perioperative blood loss, and improve surgeon confidence, patient consent, and clinical outcomes. Surgical tools printed with Formlabs’ low-cost technology are validated for diagnostic use in several FDA-cleared workflows and trusted by hundreds of hospitals, surgical centers, imaging centers, and medical schools globally, as well as thousands of medical device firms.