RSNA 2019 Advanced Visualization Preview

How informed are physicians on hospital 3D printing?

By Abraham Kim, staff writer

November 12, 2019 --

Sunday, December 1 | 1:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. | IN243-SD-SUB2 | Lakeside, IN Community, Station 2
In this Sunday presentation, researchers from Switzerland will report on the findings of a physician survey investigating their awareness and understanding of 3D printing services at a medium-sized hospital with an in-house 3D printing lab.

"With 3D printing labs becoming more and more common in hospitals, it is important to understand the needs and wants of the referring physicians," Dr. Philip Brantner of University Hospital Basel told

The researchers invited all the physicians at their institution to complete a 25-question online survey concerning the in-house 3D printing lab and general know-how about 3D printing.

Among the roughly 200 physicians who responded, nearly all knew about the existence of the in-house 3D printing lab. However, only a quarter of the physicians knew the location of the lab, and only 61% knew that they could order a 3D-printed model directly from the electronic medical record (EMR) system.

The survey findings also showed that approximately one-third of the physicians considered ordering a 3D-printed model, though they consistently overestimated the costs and the amount of time it would take to prepare and produce simple models.

"We found that while many knew about our 3D printing lab, it is important to provide more information on current costs, time frames, and possibilities and to enable a low-threshold approach to order a 3D print," Brantner said. "To anchor 3D printing in hospitals, there is a need for further education about this promising technique."