Together with the 3D-print lab at the University Hospital Basel (Lead: Dr Florian Thieringer), Dr Philipp Honigmann introduced 3D-inhouse printing at the Kantonsspital Baselland. Inside, various 3D printed medical devices are manufactured to assist the medical staff in their daily tasks. Among these devices, we will highlight the use of 3D printed orthotics for the upper extremity.
Within the next months, a new clinical study covering 3D printed forearm casts will be undertaken. It will be led by Dr Marco Keller and supported by Dr Philipp Honigmann, both specialists in hand surgery.
The prospective randomised trial will focus on distal radius fractures, with the subject to analyse various aspects of 3D printed immobilisation devices in comparison to traditional methods such as plaster casts. The outcome will be assessed from both radiological and clinical perspectives, such as patient comfort, fracture healing, the range of motion and daily living activities.
The goal of the prospective randomised trial which will take place at the Hand Surgery unit of the Kantonsspital Baselland is to demonstrate that 3D printed orthotics are a valuable substitute for traditional treatment methods and can represent added value for the patient and the medical world. It is a special concern to Dr Philipp Honigmann and Dr. Marco Keller that the collected data will bring some evidence to this rapidly evolving field of medicine and provide the foundation for future trials at the Kantonsspital Baselland with focus on customising patient-treatments, expanding the boundaries of 3D-printing technology and additional implementation of artificial intelligence.
The medical devices will be manufactured on-site in Kantonsspital Baselland´s 3D printing lab, led by Dr. Philipp Honigmann. Spentys will contribute to the study by providing its expertise in 3D modelling and 3D printed orthopaedic immobilisation devices. This specific feature leads us to explore the various advantages and opportunities that an in-house 3D technology production can offer to a hospital.
Printing orthotics inside the hospital allows the medical staff to be close to their patients and the production source at the same time. They have all the information needed at their disposal, and the patients´ data remains inside the hospital.
Another advantage is the possibility of directly replacing the device in case of problems. Since all the people involved are located at the same place, the issue can be examined and fixed directly on-site. If necessary, the device can be modified and reprinted immediately, thereby avoiding any waste of time.
An in-house 3D technology production centre does not only allow orthotics to be printed. 3D printing is also relevant to print surgical guides or anatomical models, thus helping e.g. surgeons to better approach some surgical interventions or any other complexities related to their activity. This technology has the potential of being capable of replicating many components of human anatomy, improving daily patient care. Like any technology, it is constantly evolving and therefore, it will be possible to 3D print other types of devices in the future, and faster. The potential of 3D printing, or also called additive manufacturing, is enormous for healthcare institutions.