Movers & Shakers Interview with Dr. Frank J. Rybicki, professor and chair of the Department of Radiology at the University of Ottawa

Why 2016 may be the Year Medical 3D Printing Crosses the Chasm

Published: 29 Feb 2016

A Conversation with Dr. Frank J. Rybicki, professor and chair of the Department of Radiology at the University of Ottawa, chief of Medical Imaging at The Ottawa Hospital, and editor-in-chief for “3D Printing in Medicine,

Interview by Nadim Daher, Principal Analyst

Why 2016 may be the Year Medical 3D Printing Crosses the Chasm

February 2016

Dr. Frank J. Rybicki, professor and chair of the Department of Radiology at the University of Ottawa, chief of Medical Imaging at The Ottawa Hospital, and editor-in-chief for “3D Printing in Medicine,” speaks with Nadim Daher, principal analyst with the Transformational Health group at Frost & Sullivan, about the latest developments and the future of medical 3D printing.

Interview at a Glance

“Experience with many cases supports that the 3D model will increase surgical confidence and be desired for the next patient. Once a surgeon recognizes that this is possible for one patient, it becomes their personal standard.”

“I believe that we can learn from what we have accomplished thus far and capitalize on opportunities to generate win-win scenarios for medicine and the industry.”

“It is unlikely that a new group will buy more than one printer at a time. Most groups can and should start with surgical planning and use a few colors.”

“I cannot stress enough the need for a dedicated in-hospital ‘3D printing steering committee’ that will evaluate the needs of every department and eventually decide
on the most balanced option for the institution, patient-wise and profit-wise.”

“The choice of an institution’s first 3D printer should largely consider the intended service.”

The models use materials that, while under $100USD per case, have accumulating expenses over time. There is no reimbursement for 3D printing at present.”

“Dedicated personnel should be also considered, including technicians’ and physicians’ full or part-time salary, as well as hardware replacements and technical support costs.”

“All in all a rough estimate would be around $200,000-300,000 USD for an institution aiming to utilize 3D printing in everyday clinical practice.”

“As radiologists, we deliver a very flat and very black-and-white ‘report.’ 3D printing offers something entirely different.”

“3D printing holds great promise toward patient-tailored medicine practice and has shown its feasibility, accuracy, reproducibility and the added value in almost every aspect of medicine.”

“[On the road to reimbursement], adding in a year buffer, I believe that we are looking at aroughly five-year horizon.”

“The fundamental question is, ‘Can we pay for the technology that physicians want to use to enhance patient care? Or will that technology ultimately pay for itself with improved outcomes and a better quality of life?’”

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