Unleashing the Future of Medicine: A Recap of the 3D Printing in Hospitals Forum 2023

3 min read

Materialise's Medical VP Brigitte de Vet speaking at the 3D Printing in Hospitals Forum 2023

This year’s 3D Printing in Hospitals Forum was a two-day event that showcased groundbreaking advancements, thought-provoking sessions, and engaging workshops that left attendees inspired and eager to harness the power of 3D printing in the medical field. Expert speakers shared invaluable insights into cutting-edge advancements, captivating the audience with the transformative potential of 3D printing in healthcare. Here are some of the standout moments of this year’s forum.

Group photo of the attendees at the 3D Printing in Hospitals Forum 2023

Centralizing 3D printing labs

While many 3D printing labs started in a niche area, they are now expanding to encompass a broader range of applications, serving multiple departments, and ensuring their sustainability. One presentation on the topic was by Emanuela Marcelli and Laura Cercenelli from the University of Bologna, who shared their experiences evolving from a single department to a multi-department lab.

Moreover, to maintain and enhance the quality of their operations, these labs are actively exploring and implementing rigorous quality procedures. This proactive approach aims to ensure safety, comply with the Medical Device Regulation (MDR), and deliver superior outcomes to their expanding cases. The focus on quality and case management was a prominent topic of discussion throughout the event. Arnau Valls from Sant Joan de Deu Children’s Hospital offered insight into the topic during his presentation on adhering to regulation within his hospital’s 3D printing lab.

Revolutionizing surgical procedures

One of several compelling sessions on clinical applications was presented by Dr. Jules Olsthoorn, who delved into the use of 3D printing in rare patient-specific heart surgery on ventricular septal defects. His expertise illustrates how this revolutionary technology has redefined the landscape of complex surgical procedures. Witnessing the intersection of innovation and healthcare firsthand was nothing short of awe-inspiring, as precision and tailor-made solutions now empower medical professionals to surpass previous limitations.

Dr. Jules Olsthoorn presenting at the 3D Printing in Hospitals Forum 2023

Harnessing the power of innovation

The forum also showcased cutting-edge innovations poised to transform healthcare. Speakers like Thomas Maal from Radboud UMC shed light on augmented reality (AR) applications. AR and extended reality (XR) are continuing to gain ground in case visualization before and during surgery. It ideally complements 3D printing in time-sensitive scenarios, such as trauma causes.

Mimics Innovation Awards 2022 finalists and winners also presented their innovative research on personalized care; Bart Van der Wal spoke about the winning paper on personalized, 3D printed, regenerative hip implants making surgical treatment for hip dysplasia less invasive. Moreover, the exhibition area showcased the latest technologies from Materialise, such as a new planning tool for thoracic surgery, AR visualization capabilities, personalized solutions for TMJ replacements, and even a sneak peek at products not yet commercialized.

Empowering healthcare professionals

The workshops conducted during the second day of the forum allowed attendees to engage in hands-on activities and gain practical insights. Participants immersed themselves in designing medical devices, including anatomical models and personalized surgical cutting guides. Moreover, workshops on medical image processing and segmentation using Mimics software equipped attendees with knowledge that could be directly applied to their roles within hospitals and the broader medical industry. This emphasis on practical skills empowered participants to embrace additive manufacturing technologies with confidence and proficiency.

Fostering a vibrant community

The 3D printing in hospitals group is flourishing, with rapid growth as over 100 labs have been established throughout Europe. Beyond the insights shared, the event encouraged a vibrant sense of community, which has become a cornerstone of the event. Attendees engaged in spirited discussions, forged connections, and collaborated. The forum served as a melting pot of ideas, nurturing an atmosphere conducive to networking, and knowledge exchange. A notable highlight was the presence of the European 3D Special Interest Group (SIG), whose talk and workshop offered a unique opportunity to engage with key opinion leaders and gain fresh perspectives.

Two 3D Printing in Hospital Forum 2023 attendees trying AR

The 3D Printing in Medicine Forum 2023 was a memorable milestone, showcasing the remarkable potential of 3D printing in reshaping patient care. Attendees departed with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and inspiration, eager to apply their newfound knowledge and practical skills to drive innovation in their respective professional roles.

This gathering represents an unparalleled opportunity to explore the intersection of innovation and healthcare and propel the future of medicine. We look forward to even more groundbreaking developments and continuing to cultivate beneficial networking opportunities among industry enthusiasts. Stay tuned and join us next year for another immersive experience at the 3D Printing in Hospitals Forum.


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