French Hospitals to Perform Medical 3D Printing On-Demand with Stratasys
Stratasys signed a deal with French med-tech startup Bone 3D to provide 3D printing technology to local hospitals. This cooperation is part of Bone 3D’s HospiFactory initiative, equipping healthcare institutions with up to five 3D printing technologies on-site for bespoke on-demand production of essential medical equipment, medical devices, and patient-specific anatomical models. As part of the strategic agreement, Bone 3D will invest in and supply Stratasys’ latest fused deposition modeling (FDM) and PolyJet 3D printing systems according to the particular requirements of individual hospitals and medical institutions of the HospiFactory network.
Via Bone 3D’s HospiFactory initiative, healthcare providers can sub-contract 3D printing hardware and services from Bone 3D. The service grants them the direct means to fulfill their production requirements on-site and receive dedicated ongoing support from a team of experienced biomedical engineers to support the demand from the entire medical system.
Established just three years ago, Bone 3D is already a leading 3D printing service provider for the healthcare industry and has been working closely with Stratasys from the very beginning. Back in 2019, the French manufacturer installed its first Stratasys J750 Digital Anatomy 3D printer after identifying its full color, multi-material attributes as the solution to strengthen its capabilities and quickly produce highly precise medical and orthodontic models for its customers. At the time, Bone 3D founder and CEO Jérémy Adam described the J750 as a genuine workhorse from a production standpoint and in the R&D development of medical devices.
Since then, the startup invested in more than 30 Stratasys 3D printers, including the recently introduced multi-material J5 MediJet 3D printer and several F-Series FDM’s for a range of applications requiring tough, durable parts, like medical devices and maintenance parts for hospitals, such as a replacement handle for a wheelchair.
Bone 3D also deployed 60 Stratasys FDM systems in 2020 to Europe’s largest university teaching hospital, the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), to support the frontline fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Bone 3D managed the fleet’s implementation, operation, and support, giving the AP-HP its in-house capability to produce vital personal protective equipment (PPE), electrical syringe pumps, intubation equipment, and respirator valves on-demand, bridging the shortfall in traditionally manufactured equipment.
Adam said that early on in the pandemic, the world witnessed the importance of 3D printing first-hand as it provided a swift and direct means of producing vital equipment for healthcare workers.
“However, beyond that, the versatility of 3D printing has seen huge demand from hospitals and medical institutions as a means to create maintenance parts, rehabilitation parts, and medical devices. Our HospiFactory initiative will ensure that some of the market’s most advanced 3D printing technologies are made accessible exactly where and when they are needed by surgeons and clinicians across the French hospital network.”
Boasting a team of 35 collaborators, including engineers and surgeons, Bone 3D serves more than 250 customers throughout the country. Aside from the AP-HP, other clients include the University of Paris, Strasbourg University Hospital, and the University Hospital of Basel. The options are limitless; 3D printing technologies can produce applications ranging from procedural simulators and educational tools that allow medical staff to practice performing a surgical procedure to create a replacement handle for a wheelchair.
An increasing number of hospitals worldwide are building labs and incorporating 3D printing workflows to provide on-demand, customized care for their patients. In addition, advanced manufacturing technologies are helping change the landscape of medicine by revolutionizing medical equipment. Innovative services like Bone 3D’s HospiFactory could drive the expansion of personalized healthcare by assisting medical institutions to transition to become the “hospitals of the future.”
For years, Stratasys has fast-tracked ideas into production, especially in the healthcare sector. According to Adam, the Israeli company’s longstanding expertise makes it the ideal partner to take HospiFactory to the next level: “We now have the full 3D printing package through one point of contact, giving us the production capability and agility to meet the needs of our customers.”
Additionally, Stratasys’ Director of Healthcare for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), Eric Erickson, highlighted the importance of initiatives like the HospiFacotry to increase the accessibility of 3D printing technology to a much broader geographic network of hospitals and to cater to a substantial demand for localized production of 3D printed medical equipment and anatomical models. The ability to produce parts locally, on-demand is a gamechanger for hospitals and medical institutions, giving them the power to 3D print the critical parts they need when they need them, concluded Erickson.