Realize Medical Gets 510(k) Clearance for VR Surgical Planning Software –

The company hopes that doctors and other doctors will use the platform to share and experience medical files. One can see how an immersive environment can help with surgical planning. Instead of doctors imagining a procedure based on slices of MRI or CT, more realistic VR models can provide a better understanding. Doctors can also collaborate across borders, with a remote surgeon in India assisting a US surgery to reduce costs. A distant location can help to understand a specific pathology with special knowledge.

The ability to see the appropriate scans for a complex procedure in VR allows the patient to fully understand their cause and function. In a competitive medical field, hospitals and surgeries can win over customers by giving them better options. A more informed choice made by a patient who is well-informed about the options will contribute to therapeutic efficacy and overall satisfaction.

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Many CTs and MRIs are distributed on compact discs or through complicated file transfer programs. As a patient, I do not have access to the totality of my medical information. Different doctors keep certain parts of my medical information private. The entire landscape file is flawed and expensive. We really need a new level of infrastructure and display technology. With more scans and laws requiring records to be kept for years, the storage capacity for these things is also exploding while access and control are breaking down. We are about to spend a lot of money on a very leaky and inefficient way to store, manage and access files. So investments like Realize and Medical IP are to be applauded.

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However, there is something else here. 3D printing medical models is an additive manufacturing (AM) business. Now reimbursable, 3D printing of surgical planning models is booming. Stratasys and others are developing medical 3D models and materials to aid medical training and surgical planning. This whole phase will stop in its tracks if VR is used. That’s important to the AM sector because these 3D printed diagnostic models are a gateway drug to the adoption of 3D printing by hospitals. Many hospital 3D printing labs are being established around the world. One way to increase buy-in, visibility, and relevance to hospitals is to print prescriptions for everyone. Therefore, the AM sector needs to pay more attention to AR and VR in medicine because it may seriously hinder our own growth in that sector.

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