Dubai Health Authority and Arab Health forge strategic partnership to strengthen the future of 3D medical printing in Dubai

31 January 2017

3D medical printing zone at Arab Health to highlight Dubai’s aim and strategy to become an international leader in 3D medical printing by 2021

Dubai, UAE, 31 January 2017:  The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Arab Health Exhibition & Congress announced today that they have forged a strategic partnership that gives healthcare professionals in the region a revolutionary insight into the future of 3D medical printing. With the theme ‘Fast Forward 2030’, the 3D Medical Printing Zone at Arab Health features the latest pioneering technologies in 3D medical printing, along with hands-on workshops and a conference with regional and international speakers; all in collaboration with the DHA and other leading global companies specialising in 3D medical printing.

Commenting on the partnership, Dr Mohammad Al Redha, Director of the Executive Office for Organisational Transformation at the DHA, said, “In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the DHA has prioritized fostering the development of future technologies such as 3D printing in healthcare.This collaboration provides us an opportunity to hold roundtable discussions with some of the best minds in the industry and showcase interactive demonstrations of 3D models to visitors. The DHA’s partnership with Arab Health's 3D Medical Printing Zone aims to create meaningful discussion and action about the three core pillars of 3D printing: awareness, regulation and implementation.”

For the first time in the region, healthcare professionals have the unique opportunity to experience and learn from live 3D printing of hard and soft tissue for dissection during practical hands on training sessions. Through watching a team of surgical experts showcasing their skills on 3D printed tissue in advance surgical procedures, delegates are able to understand the immense capacity of 3D printing in a medical setting, as well as begin practicing skills for the future.

Speaking of the benefits of 3D printing, Dr Al Redha said, "3D printing is revolutionising healthcare, from the possibilities of printing medication to radically changing the design behind prosthetics. The capability to print such fine and intricate details is not available on any other technology. By producing 100% identical models of organs, Additive Manufacturing (AM) helps improve patient outcomes in so many ways such as preoperative surgical planning especially for complicated surgeries. However, is not only beneficial for medical professionals but also helps advance patient education.”

"Whether it's through showing a patient a 3D printed replica of their malignant kidney to convince them to undergo life-saving surgery, or giving a child new hope through a prosthetic arm, 3D printing is set to touch the lives of many patients in the UAE," Dr Al Redha continued.

One new training session at the Hands-On-Training area at Arab Health includes heart valve replacement using virtual reality goggles, which is led by Dr Rafael Guerrero from the Alder Hey’s Children’s Hospital in the United Kingdom.  At this session, an MRI scan of the patient’s heart is used to create 3D printed soft tissue replicas for surgical procedures and an operation room surgical practice dummy is used with the 3D printed heart placed inside for the surgeon to perform the heart valve replacement procedure. The surgeon wears virtual reality (VR) goggles for a fully immersive teaching experience, which is streamed to a live audience of regional healthcare specialists.

Simon Page, Managing Director at Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, commented on the important responsibility that Arab Health has in preparing UAE healthcare professionals for the future of 3D medical printing. “By offering healthcare professionals this unique experience in 3D medical printing, hosted by world-class specialists, I believe this year’s Arab Health Exhibition & Congress is taking us one step closer to achieving the Government’s plan of Dubai becoming a leader in 3D printing by the year 2021,” he said.

Arab Health’s industry partner Stratasys Medical Solutions, who is a global leader in 3D printing, are showcasing their Stratasys J750 3D Printer via live on-stand demonstrations and patient-specific cases. This new technology will allow hospitals to produce realistic surgical models that combine full-colour, multi-material 3D printing to mimic soft and hard human tissue, as well as full colour capability for enhanced realism. Not only will this allow medical students and training physicians to practice techniques and develop skills on realistic models, but it will also enable physicians to determine the best procedure before entering the theatre room, delivering savings in operating times and improving patient care.

Commenting on the importance of the event, Michael Gaisford, director of marketing at Stratasys Medical Solutions, said, “Arab Health is one of the most significant medical events in the world and, with its dedicated 3D printing conference, is the ideal platform for us to demonstrate the growing importance of 3D printing in traditional medical care and its potential in both emerging and future applications. With the ability to reduce unexpected risks and provide quick and cost-effective healthcare solutions, 3D printing is fast-becoming an integral part of the surgical planning and training.”

The 3D Medical Printing Zone will be featured at the Arab Health Exhibition & Congress 2018.