Is 3D Printing Technology the Future of Modern Healthcare?
We live in a world of customization, and unlike before, it is not limited to the ones who can afford the luxury. Since customization is done to establish a sense of uniqueness, industries like the medical devices and healthcare sector have started focusing more on customization to enhance their patient engagement. This need to differentiate products and services from the competitors has given birth to the breakthrough invention in healthcare – The 3d Printing Technology.
What does 3D printing technology do for healthcare?
3D printing technology is a relatively new but rapidly expanding manufacturing concept that is known to have numerous applications in healthcare. 3D printers were developed as a modification of the age-old inkjet printer. 3D printing is used for the production of three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. Some of the key applications of this technology in healthcare are:
- Customized implants and prosthetics
- Developing medical models
- Customization of 3D drugs as per the patient’s requirements
The first step in 3D printing technology is creating a blueprint of a given object. In the case of healthcare, doctors identify the patient requirements and create a blueprint as per the requirement.
How Does 3D Printing Technology Save Lives?
3D printing technology has truly proved to be a boon in the medical industry. Let us discuss some of the key applications of this technology in healthcare:
Personalized Plaster Casts
A broken bone is no more a big deal with 3D printing technology. A 3D printer comprises of a scanner that is capable of modeling the patient’s limbs precisely. The printer then generates a customized 3D printed splint and the cast, which only takes a few minutes to process.
Low Cost Prosthesis
The prosthesis has proved to be a blessing for people in need of them. However, their unaesthetic and expensive features have proved to be a major drawback. This can be overcome with the help of 3D printing technology which makes prosthetics highly affordable. Also, with the help of 3D printing, a little bit of magic can be added to prosthetics by making them look more appealing, especially in the case of children.
Made to Measure Implants
Implants are mainly used to replace a functional part inside the body. It is important to note that in each person, the dimensions of organs maybe different and also the implants require significant time to be accepted by the human body. This requires extensive research and therefore make implants a costly affair. However, with 3D printing technology, implants can be designed more accurately and at a much lower cost.