VA’s Veterans Health Administration continues to develop and improve its assistive technology program to help Veterans who require physical medicine and rehabilitation services.

Each patient’s health care needs are unique and sometimes off-the-shelf devices are not a true fit for them. In such cases, clinical rehabilitation engineers like Brian Burkhardt step up to lend an innovative hand.

“If things don’t exist to help a patient meet their goals, then we make them,” Burkhardt said. “I think that’s the fun part creating things that don’t exist.”

A 3D printer employed by McGuire VAMC allows engineering teams like Burkhardt’s to create one-of-a-kind devices tailored for each patient to improve their daily lives by helping them overcome functional challenges.

In the video above, he describes the process their clinic went through to turn a dream into reality. As a result, a disabled Veteran is now able to check his own glucose levels without  his wife’s assistance.

The 3D printer is an example of how VA’s assistive technology program is providing Veterans with the unique care, choices and options that may better meet their individual needs.

Image of GrantAnderson. J Grant is a visual information specialist at McGuire VA Medical Center. He is also a public affairs specialist in the Army Reserves, with 17 combined years of active duty and reserve time in the U.S. Marine Corps, Army and Army National Guard.


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Published on Jun. 14, 2017

Estimated reading time is 1.2 min.

Views to date: 123


  1. Shabnum Bhat June 22, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    We also are a 3D printing Services firm and we would love to get involved in this noble cause. We have created prosthetics, dental implants and some surgical instruments.

  2. Judith Williams June 22, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    How can a Veteran get access to these innovative technologies? The local VA providers never mention alternative options for care – still issuing pain medications to deal with injuries.
    My husband has purchased the Quell pain management device (out-of-pocket) to try and alternative solution for his pain.

  3. Ron Robinson June 19, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    We would like to participate in the effort. We currently provide technology and services related to 3D Printing and CAD Design to the US Army at Picatinney Arsenal.

    We also 3D Print in various metal alloys

  4. Stephen M Cutting June 16, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    There needs to be a proofreader before publishing any article. What the writer thinks is okay may have a flaw that another might catch. (commercial product redacted) is a great program to catch a lot of flaws. The example I offer is the following sentence: “As a result, a disabled Veteran is now able to check his own glucose levels without assistance his wife’s assistance.”

  5. Steve Goetsch June 14, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Great AT crew at Richmond!

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