Personalized Medical Devices – Prelude to widely applicable customization


The Dutch healthcare system is increasingly focusing on value-driven care. Value-driven care aims to provide better care for patients at less cost. An important aspect of value-driven care is personalized care; a treatment is most valuable to patients if it is tailored to their personal needs, preferences and values. Whereas it used to be impossible to deliver cost-effective personalized care, this is becoming increasingly feasible thanks in part to technologies such as 3D printing.

In the Twente region, an ecosystem has formed in recent years in the field of medical 3D printing. In it, researchers from Saxion University of Applied Sciences work together with Medisch Spectrum Twente (MST), Ziekenhuisgroep Twente (ZGT), Roessingh, OCON, and various (commercial) partners. Within the ecosystem, 3D printing is being used to make preoperative models, saw molds, and simple medical devices, among other things.

A next step in the field of medical 3D printing, which is in line with the movement toward value-driven, personalized care, is the 3D printing of person-specific medical devices such as prosthetics, orthoses and splints. However, despite promising developments (including a customized tracheal cannula and a personalized pessary), hospitals are not yet succeeding in moving forward with this on a large scale. There are technological challenges, but also questions about the design process and the implementation of the personalized devices in the care process.

This project uses the existing ecosystem as a living lab to further investigate these 3 challenges in 4 design cases. Once completed, the knowledge from the cases will be translated into solutions for the entire ecosystem.

With this approach, the research builds on existing knowledge, expertise and facilities and ensures a further development into an ecosystem in which healthcare professionals can work independently with 3D printing personalized medical devices.

Project partners

Oceanz B.V.

Roessingh Research & Development

Stichting Medisch Spectrum Twente

Stichting Orthopedische en Sportmedische Klinieken Oost Nederland

Stichting Ziekenhuisgroep Twente


2 years, Start in July 2022


Financed by Regieorgaan SIA

For more information about this project, please click here.

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