Interview: Dr. Nima Massoomi

“One of the largest challenges in implementing 3-D technology and the health care sector will be be quality control parameters and also the materials that can be used that are biocompatible.”

Dr.Nima Massoomi Interview Series

Dr. Massoomi is a Board Certified, USA-trained Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon who received his Dental and Masters in Education degree from University of Pennsylvania in 2001. He then attended Medical school and received his Oral Surgery training at Vanderbilt University in 2007. This was followed by a Cosmetic surgery fellowship in 2008 at Ohio State alongside Dr. T. William Evans, fine-tuning his skills in facial cosmetic surgery. He currently a clinical instructor at the Department of Oral Surgery at the University of Pacific in San Francisco, and maintains two practices in San Francisco and Cupertino. He has lectured national and internationally on the use technology in oral surgical procedures, with a goal of improving surgical outcomes using CBCT and 3D printing technology. He is currently collaborating with a team of scientists in developing a robotics platform to perform a wide variety of oral surgical procedures, including CBCT-guided placement of dental implants. Dr. Massoomi will be a speaker at #3DHEALS2017.

Q: What is your vision on the intersection of 3D Printing and healthcare?

A: I have personally experienced the advantages of 3D printing in oral surgical procedures. It is only a matter time before 3-D printing technology will have to improve the accuracies and outcomes of surgical procedures especially in the head neck surgery.

Q: What do you specialize in? What is your passion?

A: I would have to say that I specialize in utilizing technology in every way possible in my personal and work life. I guess you could say that my passion is technology. I make it a goal every day to tinker or figure out better ways to improve my patients outcomes using the latest technology that is available to us.

Q: What inspired you to do what you do?

A: The privilege of helping to heal people that has been bestowed to me by my patients is something that I do not take lightly. On a daily basis I’m inspired by my patients to help improve their lives whether if it’s from the simplest to the most complicated oral surgical procedures.

Q: What is the biggest potential impact you see 3D printing having on the healthcare industry?

A: I personally believe the biggest potential impact of 3D printing will be improvements in healthcare outcomes, by improving efficiency in delivering of care, while reducing errors and postoperative complications.

Q: What challenges do you see arising in implementing 3D printing in healthcare sector in the next 5 years?

A: One of the largest challenges in implementing 3-D technology and the health care sector will be be quality control parameters and also the materials that can be used that are biocompatible. This is why I think it is so critical to have a consensus and guidelines generated by the pioneers of this technology to be certain that the future path of this technology is more smooth than some of the other new technologies that were adopted in healthcare industry.

Q: What is the best business lesson you have learned?

A: On a daily basis I do try to apply in my practice what some refer to as the “K-I-S-S” principal, a.k.a. keep it simple stupid. Sometimes it is hard to try to stay true to this principle especially when trying to create and forge new pathways into the unknown, but I try to do this all the time.

Q: What is the biggest business risk you have taken?

A: Starting a brand-new practice from scratch in 2008 in the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression. It was a great lesson in life that with hard work and being true to yourself and your patients, that anything is possible.

Q: What crucial skill should people aiming to work in this industry acquire?

A: (Knowledge of structural/material constraints and limitations or domain specific for the application?) I think one of the greatest challenges of using the 3D technology is the different types of printing methods, materials and the different modalities that could be used especially in the healthcare industry. I think it behooves anyone that is interested in this sector to learn as much as possible about the latest and greatest of printing methods and materials.

Q: How will accessibility of the technology affect the cost of procedures?

A: As with most medical and dental segways into technology, if the cost is too much of a burden on the patient or on the health care system as a whole, the technology usually fails. It has been my personal experience that if the cost is kept at the same level or just slightly above the older technologies, that most consumers are willing to pay a little extra to improve the accuracy of their outcomes and to obtain care in a more expedited fashion.

Q: Where do you get the training required to make informed decisions?

A: Most of our training to make informed decisions are really based on our clinical training which is typically during medical school and residency. This especially true in our specialty for almost the majority of the maxillofacial surgeons are required to attend both medical and dental school in order to learn the intricacies of the head neck region.