How Fusetec is revolutionising medical training
Fusetec is revolutionising medical training using advanced additive manufacturing of human body parts for use as teaching aids during surgical training. Body parts complete with realistic, anatomically accurate bone, skin and muscle.
A range of medical devices can be designed and manufactured to simulate specific pathology, such as, tumours, broken bones or defective heart valves, enabling student and surgeons to practice specific procedures.
Chief Executive Officer, Mark Roe, “In the real world, medical students study at university for five years to obtain their degree. During this entire time, surgical students rarely dissect human flesh—these skills are developed during their hospital residency. This means that most first-year surgical residents are performing dissections for the very first time on extremely expensive cadavers, or on real patients at a high-risk to both the patients and the surgical residents.”
“So, we decided to manufacture highly realistic human body parts for surgical training purposes. Students learn how to hold a scalpel, how to make a cut, and how to use other medical implements before practising on human beings. Plus, our manufactured body parts don’t have any of the inherent risks associated with cadavers—there is no bacteria, no strict storage and disposal protocols, and no regulatory burdens. Our medical devices are mass produced, affordable and readily available with pathology on demand. Fusetec is taking medical training out of the 17th century and into the 21st century.”
As a new company we have the opportunity to embrace the latest technology available, this makes Research & Development the foundation of our corporate culture. Fusetec collaborates with highly respected medical professionals, institutions and universities, continuously evolving additive manufacturing technology to improve medical device applications. Fusetec along with our partnership arrangements will continue to develop, new materials and IP to better simulate the human anatomy.
We believe that within the next decade it may be possible to manufacture human organs for transplant and every aspect of our learning will get us one step closer to this quantum leap forward in healthcare.
Mark Roe Chief Executive Officer
Mark, along with his business partner John Budgen founded Fusetec in April 2017, the business had a somewhat unconventional beginning. “When I was introduced to advanced manufacturing, the theory behind Industry 4.0 was compelling. I could really see a future in it,” said Roe.
“After spending time researching in the United States, I knocked on the door of Stratasys in Minnesota, and discovered the epicentre of 3D additive manufacturing. I decided I liked their technology and wanted to bring it back to Australia. So, I had the technology, but I needed to find a problem to solve—I was an entrepreneur in search of a problem.”
Once back in Australia, Mark considered the three major manufacturing industries in South Australia: aerospace, defence and medical. He quickly landed on medical. “By opting to work in the medical industry, we could develop our own IP, with global applications.”
It was then that he started canvassing medical professionals and academia to pinpoint that all-elusive problem to solve. The three most commonly cited issues were a lack of cutting guides, medical implants, and patient-specific models. However, he was not keen to pursue a business model based on personalised manufacturing.
“Looking at these advanced manufacturing business models, I just couldn’t make sense of them. Prototyping and personalised manufacturing just weren’t the right fit for us. By developing our own IP, we could mass produce and export 3D advanced additive manufactured human body parts to the world. From a business perspective, this would minimise peaks and troughs in production and sales.”
“So, I asked myself, what is fundamentally wrong with surgical training? I started a lengthy analysis and found that surgical training is one of the last frontiers in the world that utilises an apprentice-style training model, rather than a systemised approach. Here is the problem that we can solve. So, we bought the world’s best tech and assembled the best R&D team we could find, and Fusetec was born,” said Roe.
Mark leads the management team and passionately drives our Research & Development team, collaborating with Universities, Medical professionals and Government entities worldwide.
John Budgen Chief Operating Officer
John is an experienced business manager of twenty-five years, responsible for multiple manufacturing sites across Australia servicing many ASX listed companies. John has much digital experience, couple that with a strong sales background and a healthy passion for technology, he compliments Mark’s entrepreneurial drive.
Combined they are a formidable team with aspirations to improve medical training from the old school approach of ‘watch one, do one, teach one.’ To training with exacting repeatable standards without risk to patients and where mistakes are somewhat encouraged as apart of learning.
John overseas supply chain relationships and is responsible for the day to day operational functions.