Mighty Oak Medical, a medical device company that specialises in creating and commercialising spinal technologies, has announced a technical partnership with HP for 3D printed healthcare applications, produced using HP’s Jet Fusion 5200 3D printers. According to Mighty Oak, applications that are currently being manufactured include its cornerstone product FIREFLY, a patient-specific pre-surgical planning and navigation platform.
Mighty Oak has achieved FDA clearance and CE-mark for FIREFLY’s 3D printed medical models and 3D printed surgical guides to what it says is improved value for patients, surgeons, and the healthcare system.
The FIREFLY solution is said to increase precision and safety, while reducing efficiency challenges common in spinal fusion surgery, by providing surgeons with ‘high-accuracy’ pre-surgical planning done in 3D on virtual renderings of patient’s spines. 3D printed anatomical models and disposable guides are then used by surgeons to drill, tap, and place pedicle screws quickly and safely, making spinal surgeries more successful and less stressful according to Mighty Oak.
“It was important for us to maintain our focus on the spine and develop innovative solutions that make surgical procedures safer and more efficient,” said Heidi Frey, President at Mighty Oak Medical. “We have always viewed 3D printed, patient-specific solutions as an ideal way to achieve those two objectives, and now, thanks to HP’s 3D printing technology, the healthcare industry is undergoing a massive transformation in terms of the solutions, patient experience and outcomes new 3D printed medical devices can provide.”
Mighty Oak Medical has been using additive manufacturing technologies for around 11 years in the production of spinal technologies and medical devices.
Spinal fusions, a typical treatment option for fractures, deformities, or, instability in the spine, usually involve the use of pedicle screws to provide extra strength and support. Mighty Oak says that if placed incorrectly, could cause patients to experience critical injuries including damage to the spinal cord.
The company says that while robotic solutions exist to alleviate the errors associated with freehand pedicle screw insertion, the technology has a steep learning curve. According to Mighty Oak, 3D printing was useful for it to complete the FIREFLY navigation system to streamline the surgeon’s workflow and reduce screw placement time.
Mighty Oak Medical says that since installing HP’s Jet Fusion 5200 3D printers directly onto its factory floor, it has improved replicability and consistency in pedicle screw placement and achieved 99.7% screw placement accuracy. The personalised patient-specific guides eliminate intra-operative radiation exposure for both staff and patients, and the maintenance and technician costs associated with other solutions according to the company.
Greg Elfering, Head of Americas Go-to-Market, HP Personalisation and 3D Printing said: “Mighty Oak is currently leading the charge towards a more advanced medical device and orthopedic industry with its FIREFLY solution. We are excited to partner with Mighty Oak to maximise the benefits of HP’s 3D printing solutions for healthcare applications. By minimising costs, enabling personalisation, and improving efficiency and accuracy of care for patients, Mighty Oak and HP are demonstrating how the power of innovation can positively impact patients and the healthcare industry.”
TCT recently spoke to HP about its partnership with Endeavor 3D and using 3D printing for production.