3D Systems signed an agreement with the European Respiratory Society (ERS) to provide simulation equipment and event services at three training centres for the ERS Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) Certified Training Programme. EBUS is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used on an outpatient basis to not only diagnose and stage lung cancer but also to assess mediastinal nodes for other diseases such as sarcoidosis, tuberculosis or metastases from extrathoracic malignancies. The EBUS technique uses ultrasound along with a bronchoscope to see the bronchial wall and the adjacent mediastinal structures, while enabling real-time ultrasound-guided aspirations. Previously, more invasive and costly procedures such as mediastinoscopy were required to reach the same diagnosis.

3D Systems’ Simbionix BRONCH Mentor hands-on simulator will be used at the ERS training centers in Heidelberg, Copenhagen and Amsterdam during the first two parts of the EBUS training program to help develop and assess practical EBUS skills. Participants will be taught to competently perform endobronchial ultrasound via simulated EBUS tasks and cases using the BRONCH Mentor, independently assess patient history and results; identify indications and contraindications; perform independent procedures; and to interpret results and draw conclusions.

Using the 3D Systems services and technology means the EBUS training centers will be better equipped, according to an EBUS programme organizer, Professor Jouke Annema, at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam who says, the training program participants will be able to practice their endobronchial ultrasound skills using the most advanced simulation technology on the market.