Stratasys is creating a 3-D printing network in V.A. hospitals: Here’s how



This 3D printed hand model is for teaching, diagnosis, procedural planning. The digital file is a VA resource; hospitals can request models 3D printed on network printers for shipment. [Photo from Business Wire]

The 3D printing and additive manufacturing company Stratasys has announced that it is collaborating with the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs to release one of the first 3D printing hospital networks in the U.S.

The Dept. of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation (VACI) hopes that this collaboration will have a positive effect on patient care and doctor preparedness.

“3D printing is expected to have a direct and often immediate impact on societal well-being — with innovation having the power to dramatically shape lives and communities for the better,” said Arita Mattsoff, head of corporate social responsibility at Stratasys, in a news release. “With 3 decades of experience and a lifetime of 3D printing innovation, Stratasys is in a unique position to lead meaningful change across many important social causes.”

Stratasys is supplying 5 Veterans Affairs hospitals with 3D printers. The hospitals are in Puget Sound, Wash.; San Antonio, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.; Orlando, Fla. and Boston. Stratasys will also supply the materials and training to develop custom orthotics, prostheses and anatomical models that are useful for personalized healthcare. The equipment will create a network for building the skills and sharing the knowledge among the hospitals with the equipment.

“This 3D printing network is a significant step forward in how we approach patient treatments. The technology not only enables 3D models of a patient’s unique anatomy for diagnosis and treatment, but can also be used to engineer personalized health solutions for veterans — including prostheses and assistive technologies,” said Dr. Beth Ripley, PhD, a radiologist and leader of the Veterans Affairs initiative.

Stratasys’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) program is designed to establish the idea of 3D printing in young people and bring transformative medical and educational programs to communities that are underprivileged. They want to impact communities that need it the most.

“Our work with the VA exemplifies the tremendous difference additive manufacturing is making around the healthcare industry. These solutions now make it possible to not only improve patient care, but set new standards for highly personalized solutions. 3D printing today is advancing healthcare in ways that would have been nearly impossible even a decade ago,” said R. Scott Vader, PhD, general manager of healthcare solutions at Stratasys.

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