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    Top 10 up-and-coming industry leaders in managed care

     

    Justin Ryan, PhD
    Research Scientist, Phoenix Children’s Cardiac 3D Print Lab Phoenix Children's Hospital
    Phoenix, Arizona

    RyanRyandAt 28 years old, Ryan has been working in the industry for only five years, but he’s made a big impact. He played a pivotal role in establishing the Cardiac 3D Print Lab at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, one of the nation’s first clinical-based 3D print laboratories. He collaborated with more than 24 institutions to expand the laboratory’s reach and impact, and helped secure more than $850,000 in grants and philanthropic monies to help fund the laboratory’s development and ongoing operations. Ryan has also helped perform more than 75 virtual surgeries (a process with collaborations in seven countries). For this, Ryan works with surgeons following 3D reconstructions and enables them to do a “surgery before the surgery.” This translates to him computationally resecting tissue, implanting devices, and transplanting organs, all prior to an actual surgery. Through this virtual process, he enables surgeons to plan and even practice complex interventions.

    MHE: Why did you choose your profession?

    Ryan: After receiving a bachelor’s degree in digital art and animation (think Pixar type animations), I pursued an engineering degree because I wanted my animations to produce entertainment and—if successful like any strong Pixar or Disney animation—a level of introspection. Through engineering, I was able to apply my art-making techniques (3D modeling, 3D printing, mold-making, etc.) for a greater purpose—healthcare.

    MHE: What has been your biggest learning experience?

    Ryan: When our interdisciplinary team started 3D printing over five years ago, few non-academic hospitals were doing it. On a tight budget, we created a working 3D laboratory that now houses three printers and has nearly 30 students. The entire process taught me that the old adage, “squeaky wheel gets the grease,” is indeed true. Our laboratory wouldn’t be possible without stakeholders constantly showing decision makers about in-house developments that are both innovative and revolutionary.

    MHE: What change would you like to see in healthcare in the next 10 years?

    Ryan: I would like to see stronger partnerships between medical image software and novel 3D hardware companies. A great disparity between the two critical platforms exists. Utility of novel 3D technologies (virtual reality, augmented reality, holography, and 3D printing) relies on developing useful applications across many healthcare disciplines. And of course, I’d like to see insurance companies reimburse novel 3D technologies. The added benefits of improved surgical outcomes and reduced time metrics, both relating to reduced longitudinal costs, are enticing.

    MHE: If you could sit down to dinner with anyone involved in healthcare, who would it be?

    Ryan: I would choose to sit down with Elon Musk, who isn’t yet significantly linked to medicine. The innovation, rapid production, and zeal for sciences that he has engendered in the greater public are astounding. Utilizing his experience and enthusiasm for healthcare could yield incredible opportunities.

    Next: The next emerging industry leader

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