Sep 23, 2015 | By Kira

An Argentinean industrial design student and his brother, an orthopedist, have designed an online database that will allow doctors from different locations and specialties to upload and share various clinical cases, including the extremely rare, and even 3D print models of patients’ bones, organs, or body segments to better study them and improve diagnoses. Much like how search engines allow us to easily access and share information from around the world—from how-to’s to world news to recipes and more—this database could allow doctors to share their wealth of information like never before. The Maza brothers have already won Microsoft and DAR Foundations’ Tecno Tour II (Tec2) contest at the provincial level, and are poised to take home the national prize on September 25th

Industrial Design student Gabriel Maza had been working on this project for years before applying to the contest

Gabriel Maza, 27, began by studying medicine just like his brother at the University de la Rioja, but by his third year, realized it wasn’t for him and switched to industrial design at the University of San Pablo-T. “I started thinking about how I could link medicine with technology, and that’s who I got the idea. It has many advantages because in complicated surgeries, doctors can practice the maneuvers on the 3D printed parts.” Doctors have already been taking advantage of 3D printed models of body organs and bones, as they are affordable and can be completely customized to the exact specifications of the patient. These models not only help the doctors practice surgeries, they can also be used to improve diagnoses and training for new doctors.

The main advantage that Maza’s design brings to the table, is that theoretically doctors from nearly anywhere in the world could access the same database and contribute to a growing body of knowledge that is not limited by geographical borders or any single doctor’s previous experiences. And, even if hospitals and research labs were not able to collaborate internationally, the database could even benefit individual hospitals by connecting doctors from various specialties.

Although the database has not yet been created, the goal is to get funding and support from the Tec2 contest. Sponsored by Microsoft and Desarollo Argentina (DAR), a social institution that promotes technological, economic, environmental, and industrial development within the country, Tec2 is the second installment of TecnoTour, a national contest that supports young technological entrepreneurs and their projects.

"These contests are a stimulus for innovation in technology, engineering and design,” he said. “Honestly, I did not expect [to win], but thanks to the contest we have the possibility to make our ideas a reality and to apply technological advancements to the benefit of the people.” Maza added that without a doubt, remote 3D printing is one of the greatest advances in technology, and is happy that it has become available in his province of Tucumán.

The winners of the contest will receive a trip to Silicon Valley and a tour of some of the largest tech, manufacturing, and design companies in the world, including Microsoft. The winners will be announced on September 25th.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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