3D printing is one of the hottest topics in healthcare, and the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) is the premier showcase of the top tech trends in radiology. It follows, then, that 3D printing would be a big draw at RSNA’s show in Chicago, and attendees were certainly not disappointed.
One of the stories highlighted in the press conferences at RSNA was the remarkable work of physicians at Texas Children's Hospital, who successfully separated a pair of conjoined infants earlier this year.
The twins were connected from the chest to the pelvis, making for a unique and challenging case in terms of separation.
Using advanced 3D printing technology, CT imaging was transformed into a physical model made out of hard plastic and rubber-like material, simulating bone and organs, respectively. Surgeons were able to use the model during the planning process, ultimately leading to a successful procedure.
For those that hadn’t yet gotten to see 3D printing up close, RSNA offered a number of opportunities to do so. The exhibit halls featured a few displays of the power of 3D printing, including a heart model that was being printed during the show.
One of the hottest tickets to get as far as the educational sessions also involved 3D printing. Frank J. Rybicki, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, is one of the leaders in terms of working with 3D printing in radiology, and he joined with colleagues at RSNA to lead a daily hands-on 3D printing workshop during the conference.
As big of a splash 3D printing made at RSNA 2015, the technology’s role in healthcare only looks to expand. Here’s looking ahead to 2016 and beyond.