Oct 18, 2016 | By Alec

If you need any indication of how potent 3D printing is, just look at all the established companies who are recognizing business opportunities and are entering the 3D printing market themselves. Point in case is Aurora, a Taiwanese provider of office automation and furniture solutions, who has just set up Changyang Biomedical International together with the China Medical University Hospital (China Medical) in Taiwan. Together, they will be offering various customized 3D medical services, including 3D printed implants, orthodontics and more.

As the two partners revealed, this move is the result of changing market opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole. According to a new report from Allied Market Research, the custom medical 3D printing market houses more than NT$21 billion business opportunities (approximately $660 million USD) – of which nearly NT$1.1 billion (or $34M USD) can be found in Taiwan alone. A perfect opportunity, in short, to step into that market.

And Changyang Biomedical International will be doing so in force, it seems. According to Aurora Group Managing Director Lin Le-ping, this new venture will be combining Aurora’s channel access resources with the clinical experience of China Medical. Aurora itself is no stranger to 3D printing, as they also market, design and produce various 3D systems aimed at various professional markets – including healthcare.

But 3D printing medical-grade applications is another matter than 3D printing accurate miniature models, says China Medical’s Dean Zhou Deyang. He further argued that the nature of this application means that highly complex geometries will have to be developed, making collaboration with a complete cross-section of the medical world absolutely necessary.

The hospital itself is no stranger to 3D printing, having set up their own 3D medical R&D center back in Sepember 2014. Through experience, they have already seen that 3D printing technology can shorten treatment times, improve surgical accuracy and reduce risks for patients. They have especially seen these benefits in the field of orthognathic surgery, where traditional medical procedures take around six hours. But when using 3D printing and 3D design for preoperative planning, simulation and design of surgical splints, that time is cut down to just four and a half hours. The introduction of more surgical aides, they say, will only further reduce that time.

What’s more, the hospital especially sees chances for improvement in the dental sector. So far, they have already accumulated 200 clinical cases from their dental, orthopedic, orthopedic and rehabilitation departments that benefited from 3D printing. Even 3D printed braces, which can be customized to optimize the dental movement of each and every patient while reducing the braces’ visibility, are on the agenda.

As a result, the hospital will be transferring the production of dental, orthopedic and orthognathic tools, as well as their digital surgery planning services, to Changyang Biomedical International.

This also highlights the key areas in which Changyang Biomedical International will be initially focusing on. Right now, it will be divided into three product lines: invisible braces, orthognathic surgery and auxiliary equipment, and custom medical silicone mold output. According to Zhang Mingnan, the general manager of Chang-yang Biomedical International, these areas are home to the biggest medical 3D printing business opportunities right now. In the Taiwanese market alone, some 200,000 patients require orthodontic services, while 6,000 people will undergo orthognathic surgery and 261 people skull reconstruction surgery, while 4,000 to 5,000 people require artificial joint replacements.

Changyang Biomedical International is still under development, and initially the Aurora Group will take a 51 percent stake, with China Medical holding 49 percent. Their first goals include the integration of the two sides’ marketing and technical resources, the establishment of technical barriers and the establishment of modes of operation. Once complete, they will work to expand market access in the region, establish advisory services and provide medical education and training.

However, Taiwan alone should hold more than enough opportunities right now. With more than 12,000 hospitals and nearly 8,000 doctors able to benefit from medical 3D printing, they have a very clear market in sight. The joint venture can subsequently tap the Chinese market through collaboration with local research centers. If all goes well, they’re looking at annual revenues of NT$1.0 billion (US$31.6 million) in three years from now.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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