Over the past few months, the MMM (Medical Mockup Modelling) project has, on several occasions, crossed the borders of Italy to push across the Channel and overseas and participate in first-rate international events in the field of Med-Tech and Life Sciences.
The activity of exploring foreign markets – and especially the U.S. market – has stemmed from the desire and need to broaden the network of potential ROG (Real Organ Generation) users as much as possible. ROG is the highly responsive and interactive platform implemented within the MMM project that not only aims to integrate Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Machine Learning technologies into R&D processes, but also involves the use of Innovative Materials in 3D printing operations of medical mockups of different organs (mainly the heart) in their real state and size.
For the purpose of constant improvement of the software’s functionality, the Team of Researchers has been striving both to obtain as much feedback from visitors attending the exhibitions who have been able to experience the platform, and to make pre-agreements of collaboration with representatives of international Universities, Hospitals, and Research Centers in order to receive more accurate and professional feedback from this category of users, as well as more 2D diagnostic images to be entered into the MMM database and on which to operate the conversion and virtualization in 3D.
In the first half of June 2022, the MMM R&D Team flew to Birmingham (UK) to participate in Med-Tech Innovation EXPO, an event held on June 8 and 9 in which the incubator Techinnova S.p.A. – project leader – took part in the role of main sponsor of the innovative startup RIC3D S.r.l., included among the companies incubated and accelerated by the incubator. Med-Tech Innovation EXPO is the pivotal event in the U.K. for medical device design and manufacturing technology; shaping itself as a major landmark for life sciences professionals, the expo brought together more than 4,000 engineers, designers, innovators and manufacturers from across the medical and healthcare industry, all intent on exploring new ideas, discovering emerging and innovative technologies, products, and services for the sector.
Less than a week later, the project task force landed in San Diego (California, USA) ready to introduce the MMM project to the American market as well. Between June 13 and 16, in fact, project partner MTM S.r.l. took part, as an exhibitor and within the European delegation supported by the EIC – Overseas Trade Fairs 2.0 program, in the BIO International Convention in San Diego. The U.S. event involved more than 1,100 companies operating in the biotechnology sector, as well as academic institutions, biotechnology centers and other industry organizations from the United States and more than 30 countries. It was within this global showcase, which included several sessions and outstanding networking opportunities with more than 16,000 participants from some 67 countries, that the MTM Team had the honor of presenting the MMM project.
The June tour then made a stop in Toronto, Canada, where from June 20 to 23 the MMM project was presented at Collision 2022, one of the largest events in North America dedicated to information and communication technologies (ICT) and other advanced technologies. The event, which attracted more than 33,000 participants from around the world, was again attended by innovative startup RIC3D supported by lead partner Techinnova. Another opportunity for visibility for the MMM project was the exhibition day of RIC3D – flanked by Techinnova – at the location dedicated to the startups selected to access the ALPHA support program: in fact, the organizers of the fair awarded the MMM project after recognizing its exceptional potential, thus allowing the team to get directly in touch with the most influential people and companies in the market sector.
The staff involved in the MMM project then dropped the poker by participating, from July 27-29, in the 31st edition of FIME – Florida International Medical Expo, the leading medical fair and exhibition in the Americas, which this year brought together more than 700 exhibitors from over 45 countries and more than 12,600 visitors on site. The U.S. event offered the MTM Team, a project partner, the opportunity to introduce its MMM R&D project to the important audience in attendance, as well as to develop potential synergies through networking activities conducted by the team during the American event.
At each of the fairs at which the MMM project was presented, visitors were offered the opportunity to experience the high-tech software platform, characterized by Virtual Reality and 3D virtual organ visualization technologies, and aimed at not only educational and training paths, but also diagnosis and surgical simulation. In fact, “testers” were given the opportunity to immerse themselves in a 360-degree virtual environment in which they could interact with organs and instruments in the operating room. It was enough to put on a helmet and grab a pair of triggers, and then begin operating in a virtual environment as real surgeons equipped with scalpels and surgical scissors. As was to be expected – given the high technological content of the MMM project – the software platform generated enthusiasm and amazement among those present. Critical remarks were equally appreciated, since it is precisely the latter that have always provided the Research Team with the necessary feedback for constant improvement of the software: constructive judgments and evaluations have already proved indispensable for the continuation of activities.
Finally, the follow-up activities carried out by the Project Team at the end of each of the aforementioned events have been crucial with a view to establishing strong collaborations with counterparts that can benefit MMM’s project developments.
The goal, in the final analysis, was to bring as many people as possible inside the “virtual operating room” created by the MMM project, in the hope of involving as many players as possible in the world of Medical Innovation and with the ultimate goal of exporting the results of the MMM project outside the Italy-Switzerland cooperation within which the project was seen to develop: MMM has now taken on a truly international dimension.