Healthcare 3D printing matures fast in South Korea

The fast emerging 3D printing technology has provided new solutions for clinical finding and treatment as well as medical operations in South Korea.

In the Seoul National University Hospital, surgeons used a 3D printed emulation heart model of a child with inherited heart disease to detect the location, shape and the surrounding tissues of the lesion, so that they can optimize the surgery plan and minimize the risks.

“This patient’s condition was complicated and the surgery was very difficult, so we had to postpone the date of operation. We used the 3D printing technology to print the heart model of the patient and decided the surgery plan after several simulated operations. It was successful,” said Song Mi-Kyoung, a pediatrician of the hospital.

So far, artificial intelligence (AI) imaging modeling software can make three-dimensional images from 2D medical images such as CT and MRI. Doctors can also use AI software to separate the lesion parts of the organ or tissue in the images and build a 3D model, which can be printed by a 3D printer.

“The patient’s family members need to know the condition and surgical details of the patient before signing the consent to surgery. Using the 3D printing technology to make the model of surgical organ will facilitate the communication between doctors and patients,” said Park Sang- Joon, founder and CEO of MEDICAL IP, a company engaging in medical imaging and 3D visualization application.

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