Why patient-specific implants and cutting guides are critical to gold-standard care
Across the whole spectrum of healthcare provision, the one common trend that is heralding a seismic shift in the nature of medical intervention is patient-specific treatment.
Whether aligning treatment with a patient’s genetic make-up or tailoring it to their exact skeletal or organ anatomy, the focus on patient-specific care has the potential to revolutionise healthcare and achieve consistently better outcomes for patients.
In orthopaedic trauma, cardiovascular and neurovascular surgery, in particular, there is a growing recognition of the need to move from off-the-shelf to patient-specific implants to deliver not just better surgical outcomes but also more efficient use of resources over the long term.
One size does not fit all
Currently, 99% of implants used in surgeries are standard sizes that are chosen for best fit to the patient’s anatomy. But as no two people are exactly the same (barring identical twins), the one-size-fits-all approach can create problems resulting in the need for repeat surgeries or follow-up medical intervention. This leads to additional trauma for patients as well as increased costs for hospitals and healthcare providers.
Patient-specific implants, on the other hand, can reduce such follow-up problems. In fact, the results from trials run over the last 20 years suggest that patient-specific implants have much greater longevity than off-the-shelf ones. And in complex cases where implants need to fuse to surrounding bone or articulate with adjacent cartilage, the use of patient-specific implants is especially crucial to avoid post-operative complications.
In the UK, the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme aims to bring about higher-quality care in hospitals, at lower cost. Patient-specific implants and cutting guides have an important role to play here, ensuring that patients get the best possible experience and that healthcare providers maximise resource efficiency.
Patient-specific cutting guides enable surgeons to operate with confidence even in the most complex cases knowing that every screw and fixture is perfectly aligned with the implant. This speeds up the operation with multiple benefits for the patient, surgeon and hospital.
From wish list to mainstream
Every patient in every hospital has a right to the best healthcare available and to treatment that is tailored to them. But the practicalities of creating patient-specific implants and cutting guides have prevented them becoming mainstream as the process is both expensive and time-consuming. Generally speaking, segmenting 2D DICOM data sets, such as MRI and CT scans, into 3D electronic files and/or 3D prints involves investment in expensive software and many hours of a surgeon’s time, or extensive input from other highly skilled (therefore expensive) staff.
The leading medical device companies across the world know that the future is patient-specific implants but to enable 3D modelling, and therefore patient-specific implants, to become the norm this major segmentation bottleneck has to be overcome.
Thanks to advances in technology relating to artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud-based services, the solution is now available.
Scaling the production of patient-specific implants through automated segmentation
The answer to the question of how to scale the production of patient-specific implants and cutting guides is automated segmentation. This is what Axial3D’s highly innovative and unique segmentation-as-a-service™ offers.
Axial3D has created machine learning models to automatically process 2D data based on a verified database that contains hundreds of thousands of medical images. Algorithms enable segmentation to be completed in minutes rather than hours and thousands of cases can be processed simultaneously.
Our skilled Medical Visualisation Engineers verify the quality of the output, which is typically more accurate than can be produced by even the most experienced segmentation expert.
Medtech companies that need 3D electronic files to enable the production of patient-specific implants and cutting guides can have the segmented files delivered to their inbox within hours of sending through the 2D data. We’re the first company in the world to offer this innovative service, which has already been used by over 250 hospitals and medtech companies worldwide, and that number is growing month on month.
We’d welcome the opportunity to tell you more about Axial3D’s segmentation-as-a-service™ and how it can enable you to rapidly scale production in a cost-effective way, ensuring that your company remains at the forefront of innovation and can offer affordable, patient-specific implants to meet the growing demand.
Give us a call and we’ll answer all your questions. In addition, we’ll offer you the chance to try our segmentation-as-a-service completely free of charge by clicking the button below.
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