When you hear about 3D printing, all sorts of things come to mind. It’s a new technology that’s sure to have a strong impact on many different industries in our world. A lot of excitement and uncertainty surrounds 3D printing, but what isn’t discussed is the very real influence that it’s about to have on the health care industry
When it comes to health care, 3D printing is the perfect technology. It makes tasks easier, faster and helps health care professionals succeed at a higher rate. 3D printing is also a much more cost-effective solution than current options. Although this technology seems straight out of a movie, it’s very real and potentially here to stay.
This article will cover the potential effects that 3D printing will have on health care as well as some of the possibilities it presents. You’ll be able to see the practicality that 3D solutions have to offer and better understand the options this technology brings.
Revolutionizing surgical operations
3D scanning, which is similar to CT scans already has a powerful impact on surgery. 3D scanning gives surgeons the abilityto scan a patient’s body and plan complex surgeries with exact knowledge of how the patient’s body is constructed.
The scans of the patient’s blood vessels, bones and other organs can be converted into a CAD file, which can be 3D printed and further studied. This makes surgeries that require drilling or cutting much safer and more effective. Using this technique, surgeons can design custom tools that are the perfect size and shape for a specific patient’s body. All of this can be done relatively inexpensively as well as fast.
Healing and repairing the body
3D printing is about to have a powerful, lasting affect on prosthetic solutions for amputees. Prosthetic limbs can be easily and inexpensively printed and customized. Current prosthetic solutions are very expensive with vary little variety to adapt to the amputees specific body. 3D scans allow for prosthetic solutions to be customized to an individual’s body. Growing children are unable to use traditional prosthetics due to their inability to grow with their body; most children outgrow prosthetic limbs within a few months. 3D printing would allow people to easily print new prosthetics at home to keep up with their child’s growing body. The prosthetic limbs for children can also be easily customized and colored to their personality.
These benefits also expand into areas such as facial reconstruction surgeries. Surgeons can take a CT scan and create a 3D model of a patient’s skull. This allows them to precisely create plates and new pieces of their face according to the unique grooves and indents of their skulls.
3D printing also has the potential to be used to replace major organs such as kidneys. People are already using 3D printed parts to replace bone structures but replacing an entire organ still needs some technological improvements. Scientists are looking into ways to print a 3D organ using cells as the “ink” during the printing process. Companies are also working on printing patches that could heal damaged organs such as certain sections of a person’s liver.
The future of healthcare appears very bright with advancements like 3D printing. The biggest advantages will be affordable and personalized care. Doctors will be able to perform complex surgeries with high rates of success. Tumors can be removed easier thanks to 3D scanning. 3D printing can easily become a viable healthcare solution in impoverished areas. Serious health procedures can be accomplished faster, cheaper and easier on the patient’s body.
As 3D technology progresses and becomes more complicated, we’re sure to see even more amazing advancements. 3D printing is an amazing sign of the times we live in. It is bringing us closer and closer to solving serious health care problems and improving the quality of life for many patients. 3D printing is about to revolutionize how we deal with health care in this world.