With a long history of 30 years, 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing has finally laid its establishment in the industries. Today, there is hardly any industry left, which is not using this revolutionary technology to their advantage. Healthcare industry is also one such industry, which is having a great benefit from additive manufacturing. This industry demands extreme accuracy and every patient’ s treatment; especially in emergency cases, which have become limited, customized, and expensive. 3D Printing, in such scenarios, presents the perfect solution in overcoming such restrictions and at the same time is fully customized, secure, and affordable. In the upcoming years, the use of additive manufacturing is going to rise severely.
By following ways, the 3D printing is revolutionizing the health industry:
A prominent report states that the 3D printing industry is going to reach $1.3 billion by 2021. It also predicts that 3D printing will disrupt the cost implications of several medical procedures. The price of medical procedures and biomedicines will be reduced drastically along with the treatment being simplified. Prosthetics that have been around $10000 are now easily available at a much lower expense. This technology has also helped the poverty-stricken areas of the world. Medical teams of rural areas can now print 3D tools that the people could not afford via traditional manufacturing methods. With the assist of additive manufacturing, a direct method of deployment can be set up which is faster and less expensive.
Organ Transplant and Implants
With the help of 3D printing, the leaders in the healthcare industry have successfully created body parts. The function of these artificial parts and organs is to replace the non-functional ones. There are two constraints that the patients face when treated via the traditional methods i.e. treatment expense and the investment used in R&D to improve the safety of replaced medical model. Added with the property of customization, 3D printed medical parts will surpass these limitations and will widen the scope of implants. This again goes to the affordability of this technology as it can be easily provided with the ease of use. The future challenge for this technology in organs and other implants will be to develop new adaptable materials and improve reactivity in emergency cases.
Dentists, with the help of 3D scan, can print plaster models, positioning trays, orthodontic appliances, and retainers without disturbing the clients. Procedures like denture molding, which requires time, can now be reduced by the digital workflow. In previous generations, 3D printing was limited to certain specs but has now turned completely towards fully completed functioning parts. With 3D scans, dentists are able to customize and edit the final products.
Practice Made Easy
Recent graduates and interns often have to wait for a long time to observe and learn medical procedures, especially in surgical procedures. Sometimes it is even hard for skilled surgeons, for example, separation of co-joined twins. 3D printing, in such cases, helps by creating a 3D replica of the body and its parts. These will provide the surgeon or the learner to get the internal insights. Trainees can work on life-like models of the body parts. Customized 3D models can be printed, from which they can learn more about the surgery firsthand.
Customized and Smart Drug
In the U.S, the FDA approved the first 3D printed pill in August 2015. The drug was Spritam Levetiracetam that reduced seizures among epileptics. From the customized ability, patients at home can print their medicine at home. All they have to do is get the digital prescription, get the drug blueprint and chemical ink needed and print the drug at home.
Such personalize methods are revolutionizing the ways of self-treatments. Further, these pills present a new level of precision and are designed in a way that, it can house several drugs with different release times. Such design support release of different compounds within the drug at a specific time with precision and accuracy. Moreover, the allergic patients, via customization, can remove the allergic agent present in the drug.
Regenerating Skin for Burnt Skin
3D printed skin can be incorporated on the body of a burnt victim. By using bio printed skins, doctors can minimize the need for skin grafting surgeries. They can also change the way a patient recovers. Depending on the burn and the severity of the injury, the victim may require weeks to months for full recovery. However, by applying 3D bio printed skin, doctors can transfer healthy skin cells to those injury parts, thus making the treatment faster and easier.
In the healthcare sector, 3D printing has shown some amazing medical applications. This revolutionizing technology has provided the benefits of personalized treatments and has made healthcare affordable and accessible to everyone. In the end, it can be easily said that this new era of 3D printing, which offers efficiency, affordability, and the easy application will become mainstream in the near future.