A joint project between Western Engineering and Michigan Tech University has successfully built a 3D-printed functional surgical fracture table at a fraction of the usual cost.
Their work was published in a high-impact journal PLOS ONEAn overview of innovative, step-by-step techniques for building functionally comparable operating tables using Open Source Hardware and 3D printing.
This study has the potential to have a significant impact on developing countries. Medical equipment Is an important barrier to universal access to Health care.. For example, the cost of capital for a surgical fracture table typically costs $ 250,000 or more.
Joshua Pearce, John M. Thompson Chair of Information Technology and Innovation at Western University, and his collaborators at Western Engineering and Michigan Technological University, use an open source desktop 3D printer to create a cost-effective operating table. I have created the necessary components for. Continuous printing for over a week.
The final operating table costs just under $ 4,000, saving 98.5% compared to off-the-shelf systems. Pierce said this would not only be affordable, but would also significantly improve accessibility.
“We want everyone in the world to have cost-effective healthcare, and this is a step towards getting us there,” says Pearce. “And if we help economically disadvantaged people get high-performance medical devices, we will make better medical tools at lower cost, so everyone really wins.”
Nine World Bank priorities for cost-effective surgical procedures that should be universally available are orthopedic procedures. Examples include treatment of fractures, placement / traction of external fixtures, escharotomy / fasciotomy, traumatic amputation, repair of varus foot deformity, drainage of septic arthritis, and wound surface of osteomyelitis. Includes excision.
An open source surgical fracture table can help surgeons complete a wide range of orthopedic procedures, as well as general surgical procedures, gynecological procedures, and childbirth. Using materials that are widely available around the world, the special parts you need are easily 3D printed.
“Open source” means a license for a publicly accessible design that anyone can modify, use, or share.
“Designs can be shared digitally and reproduced anywhere in the world in digital manufacturing, such as 3D printing. We are the beginning of a decentralized manufacturing revolution,” says Pearce.
“For now, most things around the house, from toys to kitchen gadgets, already have CAD (Computer Aided Design) models that can be downloaded and duplicated using the right tools. Cases can be 3D. Print your own toys and gadgets, but this study needs some notches to provide a path to high-value medical tools. “
Surgery in many places is limited, as operating tables are not affordable. Healthcare professionals do not always have the help and technology available, even with simple steps. Fracture tables help place patients during surgery. This prevents the healthcare professional from holding the patient in place while the procedure is being performed. These proposed, low-cost operating tables will help. And the biggest advantage of being open source is that they can be improved and built in a more cost-effective way. In fact, that’s the hope.
“Medical technology is ridiculously expensive. One way to help reduce costs is to build some of these innovations, such as the use of proprietary radiation-permeable 3D printed components that all manufacturers build and sell directly. It’s about being able to integrate. Design. ” “This is by no means the final fracture table. I’m sure any decent engineer can see it and make it a little better. That’s exactly what it’s meant for. Others. Is a starting point for building. “”
Ideally, this table design is useful for hospitals that may not otherwise be able to afford it. In addition, the design of the table is freely available, so the table can be assembled, used and repaired on the fly. When surgeons and other healthcare professionals need more attachments or modifications, they can either design the modifications themselves or explain what they want to see in the design and ask others to contribute to the design. You can add features. For these designs.
“We all get great equipment this way,” Pierce said.
The open source fracture table can be adjusted to a height of 90-116 cm and tilted from +/- 15 degrees. The leg height is 31-117 cm, the arm support and foot holder are both in the 180 degree range, the foot traction is in the 54 cm range, and the leg is adjustable in the 55-120 degree range. It is geometrically flexible and allows for a variety of common surgeries. The open source operating table has a load capacity of over 130 kg, is radiation permeable (X-ray permeable) in the surgical zone, is fully modular and is upgradeable.
The table is mechanically adjustable and does not require electricity, but surgical staff need to be trained on how to make the necessary adjustments during surgery.
JK Bow et al, Open Source Surgical Fracture Table for Digital Distributed Manufacturing, PLOS ONE (2022). DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0270328
Western Ontario University
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Open source technology enables 3D printed operating tables
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