Recognizing the great benefits that 3D printing brings to the medical industry both in the end products that can be created and in its contribution as a tool for research and development, Medical Innovation Labs in Austin, TX has built a 3D printing lab dedicated to such efforts. Medical Innovation Labs, a center for innovation in health care, has focused on the commercialization of breakthrough technologies that have potential to address significant medical needs. The organization was formed as part of an effort to enhance overall quality of patient care and ensure that best in innovative technologies could be made available where the need for them arises.

gI_122292_MIL_raster_orange_whiteBGWith a goal of improvement in these technologies and their availability to all, Medical Innovation Labs is open to clinicians, entrepreneurs, and medical researchers in all fields. It is through this type of modified crowd-sourcing that they hope to create an environment in which accelerated development can benefit as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Beyond the prototyping capabilities created in this lab, the creation of an area in which brainstorming and cross-disciplinary inquiry can occur is an essential part of the process of development.

Chief Technical Officer for the lab, Professor Joseph Bearman of The Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, described the intentions behind this creation:

“The goal of the lab is to provide the resources to accelerate proof of concept through rapid prototyping. These capabilities will reduce time-to-market for innovative devices and ensure near-term impact on patient care. We want to make sure that anyone with a great idea has an inspiring facility in which to convene, the experts to advise them, and most importantly, an innovation and commercialization process that delivers real-world results.”

This initiative has received a great deal of support, from the university to the Statehouse. In it is a model that may provide a helpful roadmap to other states as the potential for such ideation and prototyping environments becomes more widely understood. Texas State Senator Kirk Watson summed up his state’s hopes for the facility both in terms of research and ability to improve the state’s atmosphere of innovation:

“Medical Innovation Labs is a perfect example of the specialized labs and communities we need to establish within Austin’s Innovation Zone. This organization will not only bridge the gap between idea and marketplace to foster medical innovation, but also provide a window to technologies from around the world that will improve patient care.”

Discus this news in the Medical Innovation Labs forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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