MedTech startup Axial3D has raised £13.25 million investment including nearly £9m strategic funding from American-Israeli firm Stratasys Ltd.

The Northern Irish firm uses artificial intelligence to give clinicians access to patient-specific 3D-printed models.

Stratasys, a new investor, is a leader in polymer 3D printing solutions. The two companies say they will provide a joint offering to make patient-specific 3D printing solutions for hospitals and medical device manufacturers more accessible so it becomes a mainstream healthcare solution.

Personalised 3D-printed anatomic models are used for pre-surgical planning and diagnostic use to improve patient outcomes while shortening time spent in the operating room. They are also used in education and training, and medical device development. 

Creating a 3D-printed model from a patient’s scan data normally takes several hours and requires a high level of technical expertise and expensive software licences. Axial3D’s algorithms enable healthcare providers to segment CT and MRI scans for these models without significant investments in time, specialised skills and large upfront costs.

Stratasys is a leading provider of the 3D printers, materials and software for these anatomic models. The company’s 3D printer enables medical customers to create models that not only accurately represent the appearance of human tissue but are also biomechanically realistic while suturing, cutting, or inserting and deploying medical devices. 

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“We are proud to be partnering with Stratasys, and have always believed in their technology and, more importantly, their vision for 3D printing in healthcare,” said Axial3D CEO Roger Johnston. 

“We believe that to move the industry from early adopters to the mainstream, we need to improve the accessibility of models for healthcare so hospitals and medical device manufacturers can scale their patient-specific programmes. 

“Our joint offerings will be the positive, disruptive catalyst that medical 3D printing needs to address 3D printing accessibility.”

Stratasys has estimated the opportunity for medical 3D printing at approximately $2.8 billion.

“Many of the world’s leading hospitals are already benefiting from our MediJet and Digital Anatomy 3D printers for medical models,” said Dr Yoav Zeif, CEO of Stratasys. “We believe that by working together with Axial3D, we can remove the barriers to entry for the remaining majority of hospitals in many countries around the world, dramatically growing the use of 3D printing in pre-surgical planning so it is truly a standard part of patient care. 

“This is about providing a complete tailored solution for customers that is fast, automated and scalable.”

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