Making post-processing easy
Most great ideas evolve out of the desire for someone to see and meet an emerging need in a market environment at a particular point in time.
The idea of creating a centralized, 24/7/365 3D laboratory to deliver high quality, rapid turnaround with commodity pricing emerged from the rapid growth of multi-detector CT equipment and powerful MRI systems and the resulting demand for post processing capabilities.
The catalyst of this idea was Dr. Rob Falk, a leading radiologist at a top medical institution in Louisville, KY. Because of the early adoption of multi-slice scanning technologies, Dr. Falk realized that 3D Advanced Visualization (AV) would become an increasing necessity for enhancing the diagnostic value of CT and MR technologies.
This realization also revealed the emergence of a major problem. Dr. Falk recognized that the wide acceptance of AV services enabled by these technologies was not likely to become a cost-effective offering by most medical institutions for two reasons. First, the high capital costs for the hardware and software provided by OEM vendors made it unaffordable to most hospitals and imaging centers. Second, the costs – both in terms of time and money - of the human resources required to perform post processing made it impractical to sustain AV services as an ongoing offering or to achieve an attractive rate-of-return for the investments.
Physicians, who were the logical resource to perform post processing, simply did not have the time or interest to process the cases especially with the relatively low reimbursement rates. And radiologic technologists, who were the next most logical resource, were often not adequately trained to perform the complex tasks required in post processing. And the time of both sets of medical professionals was better spent performing more valuable functions that directly improved the diagnostic process and patient care.
Dr. Falk recognized that by creating a centralized laboratory – similar to the centralized commercial blood testing lab model – staffed with highly trained technologists, equipped with the “best of breed” post processing software running on multi-user client/server technology, and accessible nationwide via the Internet, the resulting efficiencies and economies of scale could help realize the full potential of AV technologies.
Assisted by a Louisville-based medical business incubator, Dr. Falk founded 3DR Laboratories (3DR) in 2005, funded largely by “Angel Investors”. Most of 2006 and 2007 were devoted to developing the proprietary technology platform. Also, during this period, his Co-Founder Michael Lillig began the development of a nationwide marketing/promotional program for 3DR’s services. Following the proof of concept, 3DR launched the service to its first commercial client in January of 2008, processing 35 cases that month.
Since its launch, 3DR has grown steadily to become the largest, independent post processing laboratory in the U.S. By leveraging its investment in thin client server hardware and software and by creating a highly-trained cadre of technologists using its proprietary “peer-to-peer” training program, 3DR now serves hundreds of clients and processes thousands of cases each month.
3DR is truly succeeding in its mission “To become the dominant provider of AV post processing services in the U.S.” by providing Excellence, Economy, and Effectiveness to its clients.