The rise in the adoption of 3D printing technology indicates two things: the host of benefits it offers to organizations operating across a myriad of industries, and the ability to transform and revolutionize how some industries function – particularly, the healthcare sector.
3D printing technology has already become a practical part of businesses that operate today; however, one sector that stands poised to benefit greatly is healthcare. From medical models to bio-printing and tissue engineering, the healthcare industry can benefit immensely from 3D printing technology because of its vast capabilities.
Adaptiiv Medical Technologies Inc. (Adaptiiv), a medical software and 3D printing technology solution provider, is one company that is helping the healthcare industry optimize 3D printing technology software to provide the best patient care across the world. With its passion for innovation, Adaptiiv has developed a clinically viable software platform that allows cancer treatment centers to automatically fabricate and 3D print patient-specific accessories used in radiation therapy. It improves treatment and the patient experience while providing a clear, tangible ROI to the center. More importantly, Adaptiiv is the first company in the world to receive U.S.FDA 510(K) clearance for 3D printing software used in radiation oncology.
Adaptiiv has designed its 3D printing technology software by keeping the needs of patients and cancer treatment centers in mind. The software platform seamlessly integrates within existing radiation treatment processes, using proprietary algorithms to automatically design patient-specific accessories. This eliminates the need to correct anatomical irregularities and delivers precise and accurate radiation doses to the target area, while protecting healthy tissue surrounding the area. While it wholly revolutionizes how the radiation process is planned and completed, it also ensures precision and ease of use through automation, making Adaptiiv’s 3D printing technology the best-in-class software currently available in the industry.
Traditionally, it takes practitioners hours or days to manually fabricate complex devices using wax, vinyl gel sheets, or thermoplastic to produce custom fit boluses or brachytherapy devices. Adaptiiv’s 3D printing software has simplified this process by enabling healthcare providers to design patient-specific devices within minutes. Moreover, Adaptiiv integrates its 3D printing software directly into users’ current workflow, as the newly designed object allows them to verify their plan directly in their treatment planning system prior to printing.
When asked how new technologies contribute to the vision of modernized and digitized healthcare, Peter Hickey, CEO and co-founder of Adaptiiv, says “There is no question that patient-specific devices improve treatment and the patient experience. Accessories like bolus, compensators, and surface brachy applicators have needed a major upgrade for a long time. These were the first modules offered because we saw obvious demand for them. Now, we have as many as five modules planned for this year, all of which will be launched in conjunction with some of the most recognized centers in the world.”
As a customer-centric service provider, the team at Adaptiiv has an open, honest dialogue with its customers. “We don’t exist if our customers don’t feel they can share their challenges and ideas for new products with us,” states Hickey. The team at Adaptiiv constantly strives to deliver best-in-class services to its customers by understanding every aspect of their business, such as how large their healthcare center is, what types of treatment they deliver, their specific workflows, and their comfort level with new technologies.
According to the team at Adaptiiv, the industry is close to the tipping point where 3D printing will become a mainstream part of the total solution in a new standard of care that is patient-specific. However, when any organization considers employing 3D printing software, they must recognize there are a lot of variables involved in having a complete, viable solution. Hickey explains, “Fabricating and 3D printing accessories that are going to be used on a patient during treatment has to be more than simply converting an object to an STL file. Practitioners need to understand that the type of filament, print speed, printer head, and even print bed temperature are all factors in getting it right.” Also, he adds that there are filaments in the market that are inconsistent in terms of density. The company has tested printers that claim 100 percent infill only to find they are closer to 80 percent. All these factors can affect the accuracy of dose delivered to the patient.
Adaptiiv’s competitive advantage is its quintessential 3D printing software technology. The company has spent the last three years listening to its customers to remove roadblocks and ensure its printing software fits seamlessly into users’ current practices. “Initially there was some skepticism, but as more and more papers were published, and early adopters signed on and began sharing their experiences, we have begun to see our solution gain acceptance as the new standard,” adds Hickey.
Growth and Success
Hickey attributes the success of the company to its exceptional team. The company’s technology was initially developed by Dr.James Robar, a well-known medical physicist with deep experience in the development of new technologies used in treatment. Along with Robar, Hickey and other Adaptiiv co-founder (and CTO), Alex Dunphy, have realized the importance of seamlessly integrating this technology into practitioners existing workflows. This has helped them gain acceptance with cancer centers across the world and has also played a pivotal role in the success of the company to date.
Another key factor is Adaptiiv’s partners. The company has built strategic relationships with some truly exceptional distributors that provide them access to more than seventy-five different countries. “CIVCO RT is our largest partner and a truly trusted organization throughout the world. Their immobilization devices are standard in most centers. Other partners such as NL-Tec in Australia and IEL in the UK have proven to be wise choices, and they continue to represent and support the technology in those regions,” tells Hickey. Today, the company has customers in seven countries and expects to secure customers in another ten countries in 2019.
The company’s core competency is its automated, patient-specific 3D printing solution. Another differentiator from their competitors is the fact that Adaptiiv is the first company in the world to receive U.S. FDA 510(k) clearance for 3D printing software in radiation oncology.
“In terms of the actual product, we provide an automated way to develop an accessory as prescribed by the doctor. Our algorithms modulate the design of the accessory based on key information provided from the treatment planning system. This allows our clients to develop patient-specific designs that improve treatment and the patient experience,” adds Hickey.
Going forward, the company intends to leverage its ideation process, partners, and amazing clients to keep innovating and reaching new centers globally. As the company works on developing new products and enhancing its existing software, the future looks bright for the team at Adaptiiv.
Quote 1: The software platform seamlessly integrates within existing radiation treatment processes, using proprietary algorithms to automatically design patient-specific accessories
Quote 2: We don’t exist if our customers don’t feel they can share their challenges and ideas for new products with us
Quote 3: In terms of the actual product, we provide an automated way to develop an accessory as prescribed by the doctor.