RSNA, ACR join to gather data on value of 3D printing

Two of the nation’s largest radiological organizations will collaborate on an initiative to gather 3D printing data at the point of care.

The initiative, between the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and American College of Radiology (ACR), will pilot the registry project this fall.

The organizations note that 3D printing has significantly increased in sophistication in recent years, with multiple applications of the technology anticipated for use in clinical settings. Gathering data is essential to ensure it augments care delivery, executives say.

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"The creation of the joint RSNA-ACR 3D Printing Registry is essential for the advancement of clinical 3D printing,” says William Weadock, MD, professor of radiology at the University of Michigan and chair of the RSNA 3D Printing Special Interest Group (SIG). “The registry will allow us to collect data in support of the appropriate use of this technology and its value in clinical decision making, and this collaboration between RSNA and ACR shows the importance of 3D printing to radiology."

Registry data will enable essential analyses to demonstrate the clinical value of 3D printing, which has been challenging to date because of the rich diversity of clinical indications, the different technologies for generating physical models from medical images and the complexity of the models, the organizations say.

The organizations’ announcement follows the release of four new Current Procedural Terminology codes for the use of 3D printing to create anatomic models and anatomic guides.

"Medical models and surgical guides have been 3D printed for well over a decade, as niche applications,” said Frank Rybicki, MD, chair of the ACR Committee on Appropriateness Criteria and founding chair of the RSNA 3d Printing SIG. “For example, craniomaxillofacial care providers generally accept that 3D printing is valuable and integral to patient care. However, when applying for CPT codes, it became clear that this 'general acceptance' lacked peer-reviewed literature to demonstrate value. This registry will supply data to benchmark the value of this subspecialty."

"The RSNA 3D Printing SIG has brought together leaders from radiology practice and from the 3D printing industry to advance the science and applications of this important new technology," says Charles Kahn, MD, chair of the RSNA Radiology Informatics Committee. "The registry will help us understand the value that 3D printing can bring to clinical practice."

The 3D printing registry will be hosted by the ACR's National Radiology Data Registry (NRDR) system, which is a leading platform for clinical quality registries in imaging. NRDR currently houses six registries with more than 6,500 participant sites and over 150 million cumulative cases. Information about this new registry, including details about how to participate, will be posted to the NRDR website as it becomes available.

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