by Koen Willemsen, UMC Utrecht
What drives you?
As a medical doctor my main focus is treating patients.
Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
Within orthopedics and within an academical hospital in specific we encounter the extreme cases who could not find help in the rural hospitals. I shall present some one-of-a-kind patients that we helped with the use of patient specific solutions.
What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
3D printing is nothing more than the physical production of an in silico 3D object. However, the uprising of new technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality could make 3D printing become obsolete. These technologies together with tactile feedback could create the experience of 3D printing without the actual printing itself.
What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
Even within academic hospitals the care is sometimes restricted due to the limitations of mass produced or of-the-shelf implants, and traditional surgery. 3D printing offers a whole new world of options!
What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
3D printing brings a lot of ethical and regulatory challenges as the technique becomes easier and wider implemented.
About Koen Willemsen
After graduation from the VU university as a medical doctor, Koen Willemsen started a new research line in the Utrecht University Medical Center targeting the development of 3D printed implants. The developed techniques were rapidly implemented within regular patient care.
Knowledge and techniques derived from the initial project were adapted and used in secondary projects such as the development of novel operative tools, anatomical models, planning software, and even the revamp of old-fashioned surgery techniques.
Koen Willemsen is also member of a collaboration pursuing the development and implantation of radiation free imaging techniques used for 3D reconstructions.
About UMC Utrecht
UMC Utrecht is one of the top-ranked academic medical centers in Europe. Patient care and biomedical research are closely linked. Partners, for example the Hubrecht Institute, can be found at close distance of UMC Utrecht. Collaboration with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Faculty of Science of Utrecht University shows the relationship between animal and human health and the environment. UMC Utrecht has been awarded international accreditation on quality of care, research and education by the Joint Commission International (JCI).