3D printing, also known as rapid prototyping or additive manufacturing, used to be the manufacturing industry's best kept secret but now the technology is being used to transform many industries, including medicine. We have heard 3d printing being used by many individual doctors and medical universities to plan and execute next to impossible surgeries. Which I certainly feel is a great achievement, and we can only imagine that there will be many more companies that will help the advancement of this technology in the field of healthcare.
We are here to tell you about one such company that looks to have made a promising product that will revolutionize the healthcare industry. Conformist is an American company that offers custom made 3D printed joint replacement. The company calls it the iFit Image-to-Implant® Process which uses proprietary algorithms to convert the data received from the CT Scan of the knee to a 3D model by mapping the articular surface of the joint and defining the area of disease. The Joint replacements are custom fit hence it does match precisely to the 3D model of the knee. It helps in correcting underlying arthritic deformity such as bone spurs, cysts or flattening of the joint.
ConforMIS, has years of research put in to make the iFit Image-to-Implant® process and are pretty confident it brings personalization back to the health care industry. The company recently went public on Nasdaq offering 9,000,000 shares at $15.00 per share. The company was able to get 100 percent subscription and was able to raise $135 million from the market.
Talking about the success and advantages of the iFit 3d printed knee joints the company representatives said “off-the-shelf knee replacements aren’t designed to your specific anatomy; surgeons have to compromise on implant fit. This compromise may result in having implant overhang (implant hangs over the bone) or underhang (the implant is too small, leaving the bone exposed and uncovered). It could also result in an implant that isn’t aligned properly.
Clinical studies have demonstrated that these compromises on fit can cause residual pain after surgery. At ConforMIS we design partial and total knee implants to fit the patient, not the other way around. We combine proven elements of standard knee replacement with our iFit Image-to-Implant® technology to create customized knee implants and surgical instrumentation that are designed to fit your knee’s natural shape and curves.”
Loaded with the extra funds ConforMIS now plans to expand their working area from just knee replacements to replacement parts for the other parts of the human body. The company already has 470 patents and pending patent applications to use their Ifit Custom printing process, Hip replacement is one of these patents that are pending approval from the US Food and Drug Administration approval.
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