Re: Medical models

From: Lightman, Allan J. (
Date: Thu Jan 16 1997 - 20:07:00 EET

Lynda Hurley wrote.....
>> for a Stereolithography service bureau to produce a copy of a CT
>> scan of his son's skull for medical purposes. Unfortunately we

Marshall Burns wrote........
> Lynda, has your friend looked into whether his insurance would cover
>it? I have wondered when the insurance companies are going to recognize
>the cost and mortality reductions available from doing presurgical
>models. Does anyone out there know anything about any decisions by
>insurance companies one way or the other on this?

The issue of how to convince insurance companies about the practicality of
supporting medical models is a difficult subject. In Europe they have taken
the approach of compiling the surgeon's estimate on the impact in reduced
time for the surgery, reduced recovery time for the patient, fewer numbers
of surgeries while iterating to an acceptable result (yes this happens!),
reduced chance for litigation, etc. The goal is to present quantitative
documentation on the cost-savings so that the insurance companies will
recognize the economic benefit and agree to support these models.

One of the large European efforts is the PHIDIAS project led by Materialise
(Belgium). Bart Swaelens of Materialise will be participating in the
Seventh International Conference on Rapid Prototyping where he will conduct
the Medical Applications workshop. In conjunction with the workshop, we
will organize a U.S. effort, with the guidance of Materialise, to develop a
database of the impact of medical models in U.S. surgical practice. The
goal is to be able to approach our insurance companies - the local "Good
Housekeeping Seal of Approval" is essential. The impetus to get this
underway is driven, in part, by the medical applications task of the Ohio
University Rapid Prototyping Process Development Consortium. Anyone
interesting in participating, supporting, or just maintaining contact is
invited to attend.

Information on the conference can be obtained at:
     or by contacting:
For information on the consortium contact:

Allan Lightman
University of Dayton Research Institute

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