BC Children’s Hospital launches first pediatric 3D technology program in Western Canada

Donor funding has made possible new ways for 3D printing technology to transform patient care


Today, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation announces the first pediatric 3D Technology Program of its kind in Western Canada, made possible through the support of the Ian & Ken McIntosh Families and Kirmac Cares for Kids.

“Although our 3D Technology Program is still in its infancy, the opportunity it enables to improve care for our patients and families is truly exciting,” says John Jacob, head of the digital lab and senior director of strategy and innovation at BC Children’s Hospital. “Using advanced image processing and 3D printing technologies, we are able to create exact physical replicas of a patient’s organs or bones, allowing clinical teams to prepare for a complex procedure or surgery in an unprecedented way. This technology opens up a new era in digitally-enhanced healthcare and personalized medicine.”

In its early days, the 3D Technology Program at BC Children’s Hospital is already making huge strides in helping clinical teams prepare for cardiac procedures—which are all the more complex when they work on a child’s small heart, ranging from the size of a walnut to a fist based on age.

“Cardiac surgical and interventional teams are already seeing how this 3D technology is helping them better prepare for procedures and improve outcomes, such as determining the best surgical approach in advance, and spending less time in the operating room,” says Dr. Kevin Harris, pediatric interventional cardiologist at BC Children’s.

“The ability to create personalized patient models enables us to provide care that is specifically tailored to the anatomic makeup of individual patients, which elevates the calibre of care they receive.”
— Dr. Kevin Harris

With its diverse range of applications, the possible impact of the 3D Technology Program can span across the entire hospital—ranging from creating patient-specific guides for orthopedic surgeries, to custom prosthetics and implants, to enabling unrivaled teaching and simulation experiences that help train the next generation of medical experts.

“We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Ian & Ken McIntosh Families and Kirmac Cares for Kids for their strong commitment to innovation that changes lives,” says Teri Nicholas, president and CEO of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Their support has made the 3D Technology Program possible, including its 3D printers, software, staff and related research. Thanks to their generosity, this program is transforming care for BC’s kids.”

The Digital Lab is an integrated unit of BC Children’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia’s Department of Pediatrics. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the Digital Lab is focused on improving child health and the delivery of healthcare services through digital innovation and technology. To learn more the Digital Lab, please visit: bcchdigital.ca.

About BC Children’s Hospital Foundation

BC Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in the province devoted exclusively to the care of children. As one of the few pediatric medical centres in North America with a world-class acute care centre, research institute, mental health facility and soon, rehabilitation centre, all on a single campus, BC Children’s provides specialized care, innovative therapies and expertise for BC’s kids, including the sickest and most seriously injured. At BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, we have a vision that every child is healthy and able to fulfill their hopes and dreams. The generosity of donors fuels our ability to help conquer childhood diseases, prevent illness and injury, and prioritize the unique needs of kids in every aspect of their care. Please follow us at @bcchf or visit bcchf.ca for more information.

About BC Children’s Hospital

BC Children’s Hospital, part of the Provincial Health Services Authority, provides expert care for the province’s most seriously ill or injured children, youth and young adults, including newborns. For more information, visit www.bcchildrens.ca or follow us on Twitter @BCChildrensHosp.

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