Singapore hospital opens 3D printing lab

Singapore’s National University Hospital (NUH) and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) have jointly opened a 3D printing lab to produce personalised anatomical models for preoperative planning and surgical simulation.

Called the 3D Printing Point of Care Lab, the facility, located within NUH, will allow clinicians to discuss cases with biomedical engineers and fine-tune their surgical plans using 3D printed models.

The lab, which is being managed by J&J, is Singapore’s first point of care additive manufacturing facility in a public healthcare institution.

Speaking at the launch of the lab today, Kenneth Mak, director of medical services at Ministry of Health Singapore, said biomedical engineers from J&J will work closely with clinicians from NUH to design and produce anatomic models of individual patients, starting with hip and knee joints.

“That certainly will benefit doctors and patients alike,” he said, adding that surgeons can also use the individualised anatomic models as visual tools to better educate patients and prepare them for the planned surgery.

In addition, surgeons will be able to visualise specific surgical steps they need to take, anticipate surgical challenges that may arise and finetune their operative plans to facilitate a good surgical outcome, Mak added.

Plans are also afoot to produce other medical devices and instruments such as surgical guides for complex surgery in the near future. Primed for the digital age, the lab will also explore mixed reality (MR) technology to support the development of next-generation clinical applications and better improve patient safety in surgery.

Guillermo Frydman, managing director of J&J Singapore, said the lab marks the first time the company is providing technological solutions for clinical care within a hospital.

“Together with NUH and our strategic partners in the healthcare ecosystem, we are excited to accelerate the adoption of personalised 3D printing innovation and develop new solutions to address hospital and patient needs in Singapore,” he said.

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