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Additive to Be Part of Medical Disruption, Mayo Clinic Official Says

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media
Additive manufacturing will be part of the disruption of health care, an official of the Mayo Clinic said today at RAPID + TCT.

“We do a lot of additive manufacturing with both metals and polymers,” Mark Wehde, chair of the Mayo Clinic’s Division of Engineering, said in an address at the show held at McCormick Place in Chicago. “We’re leveraging additive manufacturing.”

The clinic, he added, is “working and the intersection of engineering and medicine.”

Mayo is using 3D printing for prototypes of medical instruments, devices for market evaluation and implants, Wehde said.  

Additive will combine with other technologies such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence and robots, the clinic official predicted.

“Health care is ripe for disruption,” Wehde said.

The various technologies are being deployed amid shifts in health care to more treatment at home and to cope with a looming shortage of physicians.

Additive and augmented reality “will combine to provide surgical tools and training,” Wehde said. The technologies are a way for “practice surgeries to be as realistic as possible.”

“There is now a generation of surgeons learning through simulation,” he said.

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