The FDA has just cleared a new type of medical implant made from 3D printed titanium. Developed by SI-BONE, a California-based medical device company, the iFuse 3D implant system can now be used to help treat sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction. According to the company, the device is the first of its kind as a 3D printed titanium implant designed for use in the SI joint.
Image Source: 3D Printing Industry
Meant To Improve Bone Growth And Regrowth
The iFuse implant is made with a porous structure. This unique form is meant to improve bone growth, regrowth, and through growth in between the sacrum and the ilium bones in the pelvis, where the SI joint is located. Some individuals with lower back pain also suffer from SI joint dysfunction, as this part of the skeletal system directly supports the spine. Per SI-BONE, between 15 and 30 percent of lower back pain sufferers experience that pain as a direct result of SI joint dysfunction.
Enhancing And Expanding On Successful Features
With the non-3d printed iFuse implant being used in over 26,000 procedures over the last six years and gaining the support of over 50 peer-reviewed publications, the iFuse 3D version has now been cleared for use by the FDA. The new implant is created using an Arcam EBAM machine, which allows for enhanced surface characteristics that foster bone regrowth. The increased surface area created through the iFuse 3D plays an integral role in this function and greatly expands on the features of the non-3D printed iFuse Implant.
Image Source: 3D Printing Industry
Possibilities Through Printable Titanium
The ability to 3D print using medically advantageous materials like titanium has opened doors for the creation of more advanced medical devices and implants. Portions of the human skull, rib cage, jaw, and spinal cord are just a few of 3D printed prosthetics and implants that can now be made from titanium.
With the potential to create more devices like this, and greater acceptance and approval by regulatory agencies, what 3D printed medical aids will be available next? Comment and share your thoughts on this development.
3D Printing Will Bring Big Medical Advances
The word revolutionary is not too strong for describing how 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, will advance health care. The technology is expected to enable the printing of organs and tissues based on recipients’ cells and increase customization of medical tools and devices.
3D Printed Organs
Organ transplant recipients must control tissue rejection with lifelong medication regimens. Additionally, the acquisition of suitable organs requires long waits. Additive manufacturing using materials generated from a recipient’s cells solves these problems. The base cell material creates a genetic match that eliminates tissue rejection. The ability to make an organ also removes waiting for a suitable donor.
An experiment at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine has proven the viability of organ printing. A printer made the tissue for a new bladder from a patient’s blood cells. The medical scientists have also replicated heart valves and livers.
People in need of prosthetics often have long wait times for custom-fitted pieces. With 3D printing, prosthetics manufacturing can become widely distributed, which speeds their availability at the point of care. Costs could be reduced as well.
Customized Surgical Assistive Devices
From dental drill guides to inhalers, 3D printing allows for clinicians to make custom devices quickly. Sometimes only a single day is needed to fabricate a customized piece because 3D printing cuts prototype development time by 80 to 90 percent.
Medical Supply Production
Demand for long cotton swabs for collecting samples for coronavirus tests has exploded due to the pandemic. The medical startup company OPT Industries had met demand with 3D printed swabs that also collect and release fluids better than their cotton counterparts. The company’s 3D printers produce swabs that are actually woven lattices of extremely thin fibers. With swab production now at 80,000 swabs a day, the company has helped to ease swab supply shortages. Automated swab printing also allows the company to produce the swabs at a competitive price.
In what ways do you think 3D printing could improve patient care and outcomes?
ABOUT Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) is recognized as an international leader in translating scientific discovery into clinical therapies. Physicians and scientists at WFIRM were the first in the world to engineer laboratory-grown organs that were successfully implanted into humans. Today, this interdisciplinary team that numbers about 400 is working to engineer more than 40 different replacement tissues and organs, and to develop healing cell therapies – all with the goal to cure, rather than merely treat, disease.
A number of the basic principles of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine were first developed at the institute. WFIRM researchers have successfully engineered replacement tissues and organs in all four categories – flat structures, tubular tissues, hollow organs and solid organs – and 15 different applications of cell/tissue therapy technologies, such as skin, urethras, cartilage, bladders, muscle, kidney, and vaginal organs, have been successfully used in human patients.
The institute, which is part of Wake Forest School of Medicine, is located in the Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem, NC.
ABOUT OPT Industries
Spun off from the MIT Media Lab, OPT Industries was founded with the goal of pushing the design and production limitations of digital manufacturing. Drawing inspiration from nature and mass manufacturing, we provide novel materials for both aesthetic use and engineered applications.
We build automated manufacturing systems that rapidly assemble mechanical metamaterials at production scale. Our manufacturing technology provides bespoke material solutions to various industries using the proprietary polymers that we have developed in-house. Each formulation is thoroughly tuned, validated and tested for its intended product application. Our generative software platform allows us to work with our clients to quickly optimize, customize, and manufacture a large range of product iterations that are instantly ready for market.
Explosive Growth Expected For AI-Enabled Medical Imaging Diagnostics
Artificial intelligence has proven its usefulness for accurately interpreting medical scans. The systems can analyze medical images in minute detail, draw upon vast quantities of diagnostic data, and supplement the work of human pathologists. Because these capabilities will revolutionize diagnostics, IDTechEX predicts that the global market for AI medical imaging diagnostics will expand by 10,000 percent by 2040.
Breast Cancer Diagnostics
Clinicians rely on medical imaging to detect and treat breast cancer. An AI developed by Google called LYNA has shown 99 percent accuracy in finding metastatic breast cancer tumors. Another breakthrough has emerged from researchers in Berlin, Germany, and Oslo, Norway. Their tissue-section analysis system uses AI to examine images pixel by pixel. To help pathologists check the images, the AI highlights the exact areas within the image used to reach a diagnosis.
Pathology Software Systems
The software company Proscia located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has developed an imaging workflow for pathologists. The software processes digital medical images and applies AI to detect patterns that a pathologist should review.
Although the software from Proscia remains experimental, medical AI from Ibex Medical Analytics is already in use in hospitals and laboratories around the world. Ibex’s AI replicates the methods used by pathologists to study medical images. The results are fast and highly accurate cancer diagnoses that provide pathologists with rapid second opinions. The Ibex AI also can catch issues that pathologists miss.
In general, pathology is often a collaborative exercise. Traditionally, pathologists have consulted with each other when images appear ambiguous. An AI system makes an expert analysis readily available.
How do you imagine AI can improve medical diagnostics?
Our globally cited analysts are mostly PhD-educated subject matter experts. Crucially, our analyst team also includes successful experienced business leaders. We conduct primary research through interviews, site visits and events across the World, getting the insight first. New technologies tend to be hyped. We focus on assessing the needs of end-users to identify problems where new technologies can add value.
Based on extensive research, we provide a clear view of the real situation in complex subject matters, regardless of the popular conception. IDTechEx hosts the World’s largest events on some of the topics we cover, in addition to daily web journals. This has helped to create a significant contact base in the topics we cover, allowing us to connect you with customers.
For 150 years, cancer diagnosis has been limited to the subjective interpretation of what the human eye could see under a microscope. To change the way we diagnose and research cancer, we need new tools — computational applications that leverage AI and machine learning — to show us the information hidden in every tissue sample.
That’s why we started Proscia. Our mission is to perfect cancer diagnosis with intelligent software that changes the way the world practices pathology. We’re building tools for the mind that are redefining pathology and giving pathologists better ways to fight cancer today.
ABOUT Ibex Medical Analytics
Ibex Medical Analytics is the pioneer in AI-powered cancer diagnostics in pathology. We are a multidisciplinary team of entrepreneurs, data scientists, software engineers and medical experts, working together to realize our vision: Transforming cancer diagnostics with AI and improving patient care.
Pathologists are challenged to provide accurate and timely analysis as the number of tests increases every year. Ibex uses artificial intelligence (AI) to develop clinical-grade solutions that help detect cancer as accurately as a human pathologist.
Our Galen Platform uses algorithms to analyze images, detect and grade cancer in biopsies and point to other findings with high clinical importance, helping pathologists reduce diagnostic error rates. and enable a more efficient workflow.
Remote Patient Monitoring Improves Care For Chronically Sick
Clinicians typically only see patients for a few minutes. They must make decisions based on the brief snapshot of patient vitals measured at the time of interaction. Technology that enables remote patient monitoring (RPM) places much information in the hands of clinicians. Devices that collect patient data either in hospital beds or at home, provide medical workers with a big picture of what is happening with people’s bodies. When monitoring people from their homes, clinicians gain the opportunity to provide preventative care that greatly reduces doctor visits and hospitalizations.
Integration With Wearable Tech
RPM devices work by applying a wearable device to patients that then transmits data to clinicians by the internet. For example, the portability of the Philips Medical Tablet allows clinicians to manage more patients. The tablet only needs a wi-fi connection to send information to a central monitoring system where clinicians can attend to emerging problems remotely.
Similarly, the Dozee Pro device that has recently completed clinical trials in India helps clinicians follow patients in-home care settings. The device alerts medical workers to harmful changes in heart function, respiratory rate, and blood pressure so that they can take quick action before a problem becomes a medical crisis.
Medicare Supports RPM
In the United States, Medicare has approved payments for users of RPM. The advantages of RPM have become clear for serving an elderly population managing chronic conditions, like heart disease and diabetes. Clinicians, who had the ability to catch alarming changes in patient vitals early, were able to reduce patients’ emergency room visits by 92 percent. Readmission rates to hospitals fell by 40 percent when RPM was used post-discharge.
How would access to continuous physiological data change your ability to make timely care decisions? Comment with how you would like to use RPM for your patients.
Recognising the dire need for better preventive care, our founder Mudit set out to bridge the gap in healthcare of making actionable data available for predictive health alerts. He left his career as a race car driver and teamed up with Gaurav to get this dream on the fast track.
After being tested and proven to be 98.4% as accurate as medical-grade devices, the first Dozee device was sold in 2019. All through 2020, Dozee became a crucial part of Covid wards across India, helping doctors and nurses monitor their critical patients constantly and remotely.