Emerging Technology


3D Systems is set to assist surgeons engaged in congenital heart disease surgeries by providing them with 3D printed tools.

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced on Tuesday (November 20) that it will provide heart surgeons with 3D printed tools in a bid to assist them in complex surgeries.

The company said that it will be providing systematic anatomical models of patients suffering from congenital heart disease (CHD) to surgeons as the models have supposedly given a significant boost in CHD surgery.

3D Systems said that it has partnered with OpHeart, a nonprofit organization engaged with children suffering from life threatening disease for the purpose. The company highlighted data from the American Academy Pediatrics (AAP) which says that one percent of all children born in US have CHDs. Crucially, this data from AAP translates to thousands of children in the US that need surgery to survive.

“Feedback from the surgeons we’ve worked with through OpHeart is that our anatomical models are tremendously helpful to them in delivering successful patient outcomes,” Katie Weimer, vice president of medical devices at 3D Systems, said in the release.

Apart from aiding surgeons at the time of surgery, the company said the models will help the medical unit to convey the necessary information to the patients’ families.

“We are also grateful for the opportunity to communicate the benefit of 3D printed surgical models,” Weimer said. “The models we create for OpHeart clearly demonstrate the power of 3D printing.”

3D Systems said that it is participating in OpHeart’s “Heart-in-Hand Pledge,” which means that anyone requesting a 3D printed model of the CHD patient’s heart would receive a model whether or not the family or hospital can pay for it.

“We fiercely believe that the ability to 3D print a replica of a CHD patient’s heart is an invaluable tool that can, to put it bluntly, save lives,” Anne Garcia, founder of OpHeart, said in the release.

3D Systems will use a number of tools, including its D2P software and its ProJet CJP 660 Pro 3D Colorjet printer for producing the model which is created from a 2D imaging data.

The company said that its team of biomedical engineers take the data from a 2D MRI or a CT Scan of the heart and transfer it into a 3D model using its D2P software, which is devised to address and consolidate 3D model preparation steps.

Further, the company said the models can enable the anatomy to be specifically colored to assist the surgeons in focusing on specific portions for devising specific plans and communicating that to the families.

“From a surgeon’s perspective, the incorporation of 3D printing into our craft is enabling tremendous breakthroughs,” Dr. Jorge Salazar, chief of pediatric and congenital heart surgery at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, said in the release. “The full color 3D printed models provided by 3D Systems have enabled us to achieve outcomes previously considered unobtainable.”

Following the announcement, shares of 3D Systems were down 1.92 percent to close the trading session on Tuesday at US$12.19. Throughout the day, shares of the company reached a high of US$12.38 and a low of US$11.85. The stock had a trading volume of 1.38 million shares throughout the day.

3D Systems has a “Sell” ranking on TradingView with 17 verticals against, 10 in neutral and one against. The stock has an analyst target price of US$12.75 on TipRanks which represents a 4.77 percent upside from its current price. The stock has a high estimate of US$17 with the low estimate of US$10.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Bala Yogesh, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.



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