Provincial Grand Lodge Of Gloucestershire

Visit to the New Bristol Digital Design and Technology Centre

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Visit to the New Bristol Digital Design and Technology Centre

North Bristol NHS Trust is launching a new Digital Medical 3D Centre, supported by donations from Gloucestershire Freemasons.

The Gloucestershire Freemasons’ support has enabled the purchase of specialised equipment for a new Digital Design and Technology Centre, which will consolidate a new science and technology service into one innovative centre of expertise for digital planning design service for manufacturing of patient specific devices and medical models to enable safer and more accurate patient care.

This service encompasses the design and manufacture of patient specific, medical devices and digital surgical planning for the hospital as a whole. This is believed to be a unique concept within UK healthcare. The Bristol 3D Medical Centre has potential to provide scientific and technical support to North Bristol Trust, Bristol, the South-West region and development to the rest of the UK through the provision of state-of-the-art digital technology and specialist Reconstructive Scientists’ expertise.

Tim Henderson-Ross, head of Gloucestershire’s 2500 Freemasons, accompanied by Peter Coles, the charity steward, were invited to a demonstration of the new equipment for the centre.

Amy Davey, Senior Reconstructive Scientist at Southmead Hospital explained how surface scanning patients for prosthetics can not only be carried out whilst the patient is moving but the technology can use that movement to aid the prostheses to accommodate movement. The old method of producing a helmet for babies with plagiocephaly and brachycephaly required a general anaesthetic to eliminate movement whilst the mould of the baby’s skull was produced. 3D surface scanning can now take place whilst the baby moves around freely and happily and a 3D printed helmet subsequently produced from that scan.

Tim was shown a range of 3D printed prostheses and models whilst Amy explained that a patient’s movement can be scanned to enable a prosthesis to allow as near to the full range of movement (or, in the case of speech therapy, sounds) as possible. 3D printing also uses advanced plastic resins whose properties closely resemble those of the bones themselves allowing a far more ’natural’ implant or prosthetic. 3D scanning over time can be useful in quantifying a patient’s progress and enabling any necessary adjustments to be carried out, particularly for treating and monitoring scars.

The 3D Medical Centre is not only developing new techniques but also finding many new applications. One is the production of, for example, a 3D model of a damaged kidney showing not only the area to be removed but highlighting nerves and blood vessels as a tool for the surgeon prior to the operation.

Sally Bennett, Director, Southmead Hospital Charity, told Tim: ‘We were pleased to have the opportunity to host your visit and demonstrate the new equipment for the new Bristol 3D Medical Centre, made possible with the Provincial Grand Lodge of Gloucestershire’s incredibly generous support.’

Amy Davey added: ‘Your gift has enabled us to purchase the main 3D surface scanner, as well as the accompanying software, desktop surface scanner and AR headset. We will start using it to treat patients requiring prosthetics and reconstruction, immediately increasing our current capacity for this work by 50%. The equipment will subsequently be moved to its permanent new home at the Bristol Dental Hospital where the 3D Medical Centre will be officially launched and its full range of services rolled out gradually to patients and clinicians across the South West region. Within the next 5 years we expect to be providing both Bristol NHS Trusts and the surrounding areas with custom 3D-printed implants, 3D design services and surgical support.

Thanks to your remarkable donation, this is set to become one of the first centres of its kind in the UK and another innovative partnership between North Bristol Trust and University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust.’

Tim responded: ‘I am immensely proud that Gloucestershire Freemasons have been able to support the inspirational work being done at the Bristol 3D Medical Centre during my time as Provincial Grand Master, bringing life changing benefits to many in our community.’

 

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Visit to the New Bristol Digital Design and Technology Centre