3D Innovations Lab

Justin Ryan, PhD, and his team create 3D-printed models that are revolutionizing personalized medicine. Lincoln, 7, is the first Rady Children's patient to have a 3D printed model of his heart.

Pediatric medicine is on the cusp of a technological leap where 3D technologies—such as 3D printing, virtual reality, and augmented reality—allow physicians to go from evaluating an image of a patient’s anatomy on a screen to holding a model in their hands. This technology represents the inevitable future of medicine—and Rady Children’s is leading the way.

The Rady Children’s 3D Innovations Lab is harnessing these emerging technologies to transform care and save lives. The first of its kind in Southern California, the 3DI Lab team is using advanced medical imagery to produce 3D models and prints to support precise surgical planning, empower families and improve outcomes for the children in our care. Housed on the Rady Children’s campus, the 3DI Lab is transforming the way physicians and families approach care for some of our most critical patients.

Doctors can now order exact replicas of patients’ hearts before children undergo surgery for complex cardiac conditions. Parents can hold in their hands a copy of their child’s airway that has been modeled and printed so they can better understand the challenges being addressed. The brightest medical students and surgical residents can learn about rare anatomical diseases and practice lifelike procedures in a simulated setting before they perform these procedures for the first time.

The 3DI Lab and its services are a Hospital-wide initiative; the lab's unique interdisciplinary structure will open the benefits of 3D modeling to patients facing a range of diagnoses from spinal conditions to neurological disease to plastic surgery.

Currently, insurance companies will not reimburse for the use of these models; however, within the next five to 10 years, it is widely believed that this technology will become standard of care.

Your support will help families and physicians with some of our most challenging cases today, and will help Rady Children’s to lead the way toward making 3D modeling available one day to every child and family who needs it.

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For more information, please contact Laura Lavoie, Director of Philanthropy, at llavoie@rchsd.org or (858) 966-8987.