DePuy Synthes joins forces with HP for the future of 3D Printing

3D print 2J&J AND HP TEAM UP 3D PRINTING FOR ORTHO (Orthopedics This Week)

The biggest health care and printer companies in the world are now collaborating to create new 3D medical devices and other health care solutions.

On May 17, 2016, Johnson & Johnson, parent company of DePuy Synthes, and HP Inc. announced the collaboration to develop 3D printing technologies to “create better health care outcomes at reduced costs. Working together, the companies plan to combine their scientific, clinical, material science and technological expertise, and deep insights to develop products and solutions which can be manufactured quickly and customized to the needs of an individual patient or consumer,” stated the announcement.

The collaboration is focusing on personalization of instrumentation and software for patient-specific healthcare devices. The two companies anticipate that 3D printing technology will lead to innovation in areas such as orthopedics, eye health and consumer products, among others.

Sandra Peterson, Group Worldwide Chairman, Johnson & Johnson, said, “The intersection of technology and health care is spurring innovation that will have a profound impact on patients and consumers all over the world. Combined with advances in data mining and software, 3D printing could enable distributed manufacturing models and patient-specific products, therapies and solutions that deliver better outcomes, better economics and improved global accessibility. This collaboration with HP Inc. exemplifies our commitment to harnessing new technology to improve outcomes and reduce costs across the health continuum.”

Stephen Nigro, president of HP’s 3D printing business, said, “Advances in 3D printing technology have the potential to break historical paradigms of health care delivery in ways that are not feasible in traditional manufacturing processes. Together with Johnson & Johnson we have the potential to create opportunities and innovations in health care to improve patients’ lives that neither company could develop alone.”

U.S., Europe and China

A group of 3D printing-based patient-specific osteotomy instruments, orthopedic implants, and dental implants have been cleared by the FDA and CE marked in Europe for clinical use. According to a 2015 article in The Annals of Translational Medicine, orthopedics in China does not lag behind the U.S. and Europe in terms of patient number, operation volume, and surgical skills. “However, continued the article, “the Western countries have much advanced orthopedic devices, in particular the implants, than China. The 3D printing technology may provide a chance for the Chinese orthopedists and technicians to independently develop innovative medical devices to catch up with their Western counterparts.”