Medicine has evolved from a series of discoveries and inventions. New advancements have enabled newer and more sophisticated techniques in the fields of medicine, surgery and dentistry. The healthcare sector has been an early adopter of 3D printing technology. The ability to create highly personalized 3D printed medical devices, patient specific surgical simulation, direct printing of individualized implants and customized instrumentation have caused a healthcare revolution. Did you know that 95% of today's hearing aids are 3D printed?
With the advent of 3D printing and the growth of processes and materials available, a range of healthcare solutions can be offered. These include 3D printed anatomical models, patient specific surgical guides, accurate pre-op models, perfect prosthetics, implants, medical devices like catheters, stents, syringes, retractors and surgical fasteners.
The technology is being used to directly manufacture both stock items, such as hip and knee implants as well as patient specific products such as personalized prosthetics, implants, orthotic insoles and hearing aids. While prototypes of anatomical parts help doctors to understand different surgical approaches it also helps them explain options and procedures to patients.
BENEFITS OF 3D PRINTING
forward VALIDATE DEVICE PERFORMANCE : Preclinical studies are essential in protecting patient safety, meeting regulatory requirements and evaluating a new device's performance. These devices can be 3D printed and clinically tested and can simulate blood flow, embed sensors and mimic a variety of tissue properties.
forward CUSTOMIZE YOUR OUTPUT : Perhaps the biggest advantage of 3D printing in the medical field is the ability to make customized equipment and solutions. The human anatomy is as different as every individual on the planet and a one solution for all method does not always work. 3D printing enables doctors to make prosthetics based on the patients characteristics, fabricating different types of tissues and creating different bone structures where even the thickness of the bone can be controlled.
forward COST EFFECTIVE : 3D printing has made the production of prototypes in small quantities affordable. Smaller procedures can now be tested and developed as per the customers parameters. Tools and devices can be 3D printed and thoroughly tested before investing in mass manufacturing.
forward ACCURATE & EFFICIENT : Developing a prototype or making a prosthetic or implant are time consuming tasks and usually have a long delivery time. Since 3D printing can read digital data it can make the same prosthetics or implants fast and accurate to the decimal. These can also be replicable or scalable making the whole process efficient and highly productive.
forward INNOVATION : With the process having become easier and cheaper, more researchers and doctors can innovate and develop newer designs, further contributing to the advancement of the healthcare industry.
forward BIO PRINTING : Technology is also being developed where, by using bio-inks, proteins and other constituents a tissue or organ can be 3D printed layer by layer. Bioprinting is the next revolution in the healthcare sector and research is being conducted on 3D printing human tissue, organs, skin and bones!