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3D, VR to help kids in surgery

THE 3D imaging and printing and virtual reality have a huge potential in hospitals and will bring hope to children awaiting operations, Shanghai Daily learned yesterday.

Actually they are already being used in heart surgery in hospitals in China. The 3D printing services and related databases are available in local hospitals and likely to be more affordable in China, said doctors and companies, including Materialise, Hisense and Dassault System, participating in the China International Industry Fair.

These high technologies have a huge potential in hospitals as about 3-5 percent of children suffering heart diseases really need 3D printing to assist in the surgery. This means about 100 children patients of the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center annually, said Liu Jinfen, who leads the heart disease research center in the hospital.

“We hope the new technologies will help more children and families,” said Liu. “But they are still in research and early-stage development in China and used in limited cases here.”

With 3D printing technology, a 14-year-old boy and a 6-month-old infant had successful cardiac surgery recently.

Belgium-based Materialise, a partner working with the children’s hospital on 3D printing software and services, sees the new technologies to be adopted in China soon, said Kim Francois, general manager of Materialise China.

(by Shanghai Daily)

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