The development of a collaborative medical modelling service: organisational and technical considerations
British Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
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This research was part of the work carried out by the Medical Applications Group of PDR into the application of advanced design techniques in reconstructive surgery, in particular the use of computer-aided design and rapid prototyping techniques in head and neck surgery. This article reported on one particular aspect of the collaborative research work undertaken between the Maxillofacial Unit of Morriston Hospital and PDR-MAG in the application of advanced design techniques in medicine. Initially, the research work being carried out in this collaboration met many practical and technological obstacles. This article describes the research that was undertaken to address these obstacles. This research required a thorough understanding of the design technology capabilities and networking techniques combined with an appreciation of clinical and ethical considerations. The work involved close collaboration and much experimentation with design technologies and procedural practices in order to achieve an efficient solution. The results of this particular piece of research enabled further applied research of the collaboration to be undertaken rapidly, efficiently and with greatly reduced possibility of communication errors. The procedures put in place have proved to be successful and continue to support the research collaboration between Morriston Hospital and PDR-MAG. This paper represented the world’s first reported practical and effective investigation and solution to the dedicated collaboration between a hospital unit and an advanced design research department. The original, significant and valuable findings have provided a model for collaborative activity between other groups in this field. Bibb and Sugar conducted the research reported in this article for their respective organisations. Parkhouse and Morris contributed to the technical solution at Morriston Hospital. The collaboration has since been formalised to found the Centre for Advanced Reconstructive Technologies in Surgery (CARTIS - www.cartis.org).
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