Steven Keating can say something few others can say: he’s 3D printed a model of his own brain tumor.
According to report on FoxNews, the 27-year old discovered he had a astrocytoma, a type of low-grade brain tumor. Fortunately, surgery and subsequent chemotherapy appears to have eliminated the threat, but during the medical experience Keating decided to explore the possibilities of 3D printing.
He was somehow able to obtain 3D data gathered from the numerous medical scans of his brain, and thus was able to convert them into a printable 3D model. He’s printed copies of his brain and tumor several times. In the process, he discovered something interesting. He explains:
It was much more of trying to visualize what happened, and be able to explain the story and be able to see it. If I hand you a copy of my head 3-D printed, you can get a sense very quickly of here is the tumor, and here is what they did.
Normally one cannot easily get your hands on the raw medical data, which is available only to authorized medical personnel on the case. Somehow he did, and as a result he’s become focused on the idea of open medical data for just this purpose. He imagines a future world where such data can be combined with modern app technology to produce highly useful tools for patients, who for now must rely solely on medical practitioners who are keepers of the data.
There were likely good reasons for keeping the data hidden from the patient in the past, but with today’s advanced app, data, 3D and other capabilities, it seems to us that making this data more accessible could provide a huge benefit to not only patients, but also developers who could invent entirely new solutions and businesses.
There is a lot more 3D data in existence than one might think, and at least some of it should be set free.