Mar - 2017

Transforming Healthcare


profile pic As a student majoring in Social Fabrication at Keio University located in Minato, Japan, Ryosuke Wakasugi uses the latest technology that his university provides by combining nursing with 3D printing. The program is called “FAB” (short for fabrication), which means “bridging digital and physical worlds.” Through this program, Wakasugi “teaches nursing students how to 3D print and make self-help tools tailored to each patient,” Wakasugi said. Impressed by how quickly you can think of an idea and 3D print it, Wakasugi is fascinated with using cutting edge technology to create tools that can help patients. Having to be careful about bacteria being shared from one patient to another, he “performs surface treatments on the printed matter and conducts strength tests”. Although “there is no problem when using the product for yourself, various problems may occur such as hygiene and strength when others use it,” Wakasugi explained. This makes it necessary for Wakasugi to ensure that the models that he creates are safe and durable before patients can use them.  A few models that he has taught students to make are “modeling elephant shaped clips and self-help devices through the experience of training at the hospital,” Wakasugi said. Currently, he’s working on making the first prototyped “flexible gargling basin made from Fabrial. This material is flexible and antibacterial. The part where the mouth hits the basin is made from a 3D data image of a patient’s head,” he said.

Flexible Gargling Basin
Line signifies where the basin would land on the patient.

              After he graduates, he hopes to “use this prototype on a trial basis. I would like to make something safe and easy to use that people can use for a long time. This may help to summarize various constraints and problems that would occur in the process and that are considered issues in manufacturing for others,” Wakasugi expressed. Using the latest technology, we can transform healthcare as we know it. It’s amazing to know that it can be used for the good of others. Although Wakasugi is almost finished with his degree, he is exploring how he can make a difference using a 3D printer to improve the quality of care for patients. Check out Ryosuke Wakasugi’s 3D models here.


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