Before preparing for surgery, orthepedic surgeons often find it necessary to use a model of the patient’s bone in order to plan for the surgery. These bone models are also used for practice surgeries in order to make sure the surgeries are finished without any complications. These bones tend to cost over a thousand dollars and take a large amount of time to make…putting off surgery is the last thing a patient wants to hear.
Mark Frame, an orthopedic surgeon from RSHC Glasgow, believed he could create a better model. Using a 3-D print company, shapeways, Dr. Frame used open source software to render his CT scans into images and uploaded the files to his Shapeways account.
Only a week later, he had bone models at the hospital and was able to compare them to the CT scans…and they matched perfectly. Dr. Frame described that “a great material to machine and use our normal orthopedic drills and saws and screws on practice operation.”
With a faster delivery time, one would expect the price to increase as well. However, the total cost was only $120.00. This is about 10% of the cost for the other model.
This is innovation at its finest. With technology progressing in such a way, I look forward to seeing other medical breakthroughs. If we can cut time and costs of other procedures down to only 10% of origional cost, I believe the entire field of medicine will rapidly evolve and cheaper, better healthcare will be available.