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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

BIOMODEX' Cloud Strategy: An interview with Armand Dolui, Chief Product Officer at BIOMODEX

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CIMdata's Vice President, Stan Przybylinski, recently sat down with Armand Dolui, Chief Product Officer, BIOMODEX, so that he could learn more about the company's cloud strategy.

First, some background.

This blog post focuses on cloud PLM adoption at BIOMODEX, a French-American medical technology start-up based in Paris and Boston that is focused on helping surgeons to validate patient-specific medical devices using 3D printed replicas of patient anatomy developed from their medical images. This approach helps provide more consistent and predictable outcomes. Founded in 2015, BIOMODEX was selected by the 3DEXPERIENCE Lab, a Dassault Systèmes innovation center and accelerator program, for support in adopting the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and other Dassault Systèmes offerings. These centers also include scanning, virtual reality, and additive manufacturing capabilities for use by selected firms. More information on their efforts came from Armand Dolui, Chief Product Officer at BIOMODEX.

What are some of the key product development/innovation issues faced by your company?

Our goal is to provide the optimal treatment for each patient. We believe this will lower operation risks and reduce complications. We do that by first using a patient’s medical images to produce 3D models, then we add in the biomechanics of those organs, and then we create life-like 3D printed replicas, which ultimately provides a unique planning and practicing experience for surgeons.

Although we are a small company, we have printed over 1,000 organ replicas this year to help improve surgical efficiency. Even though we are a small start-up, BIOMODEX has traceability issues and other communication breakdowns when several different groups work on the same projects, e.g., research and development (R&D), production, etc. This capability is essential to successfully leverage patient-specific information for analysis, fabrication, and testing.

Do you have any programs/initiatives in place to address these issues? E.g., digitalization.

Yes, BIOMODEX believes that digitalization is the best way to address the problems we face. Moreover, I think the software we use has to let the team members work and communicate effectively on the same projects.

What is the role of cloud in your current enterprise software landscape?

BIOMODEX relies on cloud-based enterprise solutions in key areas like enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and supply chain management (SCM). The cloud-based solutions from Dassault Systèmes provide much needed collaboration tools to the team. These solutions will also greatly improve our traceability.

What challenges did you face in selling cloud-based PLM internally?

BIOMODEX is committed to the cloud. The challenge is to help our company to understand that our data is secure and that our cloud-based tools supporting development can readily integrate with our other cloud-based solutions in ERP, CRM, and SCM.

What challenges/issues do you face? Concerns like security, bandwidth, data lock in, managing hybrid environments; possibly migration?

The main challenge is that getting team members to quickly adopt the new software requires training and time.

What benefits/positive aspects of cloud-based PLM do you expect?

Again, our focus is on enabling collaboration and ensuring the necessary traceability.

There are other advantages of working on the cloud. The safety of data is crucial. We are using patient data which is very sensitive. We know, for instance, that the data for French patients resides in France. The second plus is the traceability of data. This is very important for us as we are in the process of being ISO 13485 certified. It is important to be able to assure the authorities that we know exactly what is happening every single moment in the development of the product. It is also much easier to manage the data on the cloud. You do not have files to worry about. You are not closing anything. You do not have to worry about saving things.

It is also very useful for organizing collaborative work, both internally supporting the teams working on multiple projects – for example around the cardiology project and the neuroradiology project. Finally, management communication is much easier with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. We can follow exactly what is happening every single moment.

What is your general timeline for deployment?

We created this project in January 2015. At the very start of the project, we met Patrick Johnson, VP of R&D at Dassault Systèmes, who informed us about the 3DEXPERIENCE Lab accelerator program. As part of the 3DEXPERIENCE Lab program, BIOMODEX has full access to the Dassault Systèmes portfolio and their expertise and experience to help us to achieve our business goals. We have made significant progress with efficiencies since starting the project. Thanks to Dassault Systèmes and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, we have taken what used to take 7 days of work and have reduced that down to one hour, automated.

Our planned environment includes a range of Dassault Systèmes offerings. CATIA supports our medical imaging segmentation and 3D printing, and our R&D team in Paris includes about 20 CATIA users. SIMULIA enables our biomechanical modeling capabilities, and 3DEXCITE helps our users visualize our simulations, all through the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which also supports our project management needs. With these solutions, we have all of the history of BIOMODEX in the cloud.

We plan to continue to implement the Dassault Systèmes offerings over the next 6-12 months.


I look forward to hearing your comments.


Stan Przybylinski

For more information on Stan visit.

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