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SXSW19: Meet the surgeon who used 3D printing to complete a world-first, life-saving operation


Dr. Tim Brown, Consultant Transplant Surgeon at Belfast City Hospital, is to take the stage at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) conference to share the story of how he used 3D printing technology to aid a complex and life-changing transplant on a young mother.

Delegates will hear the story of a patient, who urgently required a life-saving kidney donation. Her father, who was willing to donate but had a tumor on his kidney; and the technology that made it possible to conduct the transplant safely.

Dr. Brown is joined on 12th March by Daniel Crawford, founder of Axial3D (The firm that created the 3D model), Cathy Coomber, Operations Manager at Axial3D, and Nigel McAlpine, Immersive Technology Lead at Digital Catapult who will share their experience on how the operation was made possible.

Speaking on how the 3D printed model aided the surgery, Dr. Brown said:

“As the cyst was buried deep within the renal cortex and therefore invisible on the back bench, a replica 3D model was used for preoperative planning and intra-operative localization of the lesion. It’s difficult to underestimate how valuable this strategy was in terms of preoperative planning and achieving successful clearance of the lesion.”

The panel discussion is also set to explore the future of 3D printing, automation and machine learning in medicine. Axial3D is investing heavily to include Artificial Intelligence within modules in the firm’s latest solution. Doing this, the firm aims to eliminate labor intensive and complex tasks involved in creating 3D printed models from 2D scans.

The Health and Medtech Track at SXSW focuses on the latest technologies and approaches being applied to health, medicine, and wellbeing, ultimately improving health in the communities where we live, work and play. Technological advances in medicine such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, wearable devices for healthier living, and the impact of blockchain on healthcare are set to be central themes of the Health and Medtech sessions.

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2019 will take place March 8-17, 2019.

SXSW 2019 is sponsored by Bud Light, Mercedes Benz, Capital One, Uber Eats, and The Austin Chronicle.

Delegates can meet Dr. Brown and the rest of the team at their session, ‘Tumours, Transplants & Technology: AI For Life’ on 12th March 2019 at SXSW, JW Marriott Salon FG in Austin, Texas.

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