Applications and Uses of 3D Printing in the Healthcare Industry
The healthcare industry, as we know it, has been improving steadily over the years. New medicines are created and more research and knowledge are imparted to the general public. Along with its improvement is the introduction of new models to improve healthcare like 3D printing. So, how does 3D printing work and how can we apply this to the healthcare industry?
With all the challenges faced by the medical industry, 3D printing managed to resolve one of them – the need for customized 3D devices and tools. Let’s find out how these 3D printers managed to change the medical world and their main uses in medicine.
How Does 3D Printing Work – Main Uses
1. Personalized Surgical Models
Medical cases are always different from person to person. It means that a certain treatment for a specific individual may not be effective for another person. The use of 3D printing allowed medical professionals to create three-dimensional models to help make personalized medications and treatments.
It was impossible in the past, but 3D printing made sure that it would be done. Medical professionals can create 3D printed models. They will use it as a reference for precise visualization, pre-operative analysis, and sizing medical equipment.
There are a few reasons why 3D surgical models are very in demand right now:
- It is more affordable compared to other alternative methods. You can now produce patient-specific reference models coming from CT scans and MRI. This will help save more time as you won’t have to brainstorm for several hours or days just to find the right treatment. You can make an informed decision faster, which would help save the patient on time.
- You can use the 3D models to explain to your patients and reduce their anxiety levels. This is one of the best uses of 3D printing in the medical field. You can give assurance to the patients and explain to them in detail about the treatment or operation that they need to go through.
- The recovery time can be reduced as well. Basically, it all comes down to the treatment used by the patient. Since they can come up with the best treatment based on the 3D models, the recovery time of the patients will also be reduced.
- Patients will always be satisfied if they know what type of treatments they need to go through. By explaining everything in detail, it will improve their satisfaction with your healthcare facility.
2. Creating New Medical Devices Faster
It takes months to create a medical device with the use of traditional methods. This is a fact, which is also why most healthcare professionals realized the importance of 3D printing immediately. If you can create a new medical device in just a few days instead of months, it can help improve the medical capability of the healthcare institution.
You don’t need to bring the plans to outside institutions. With 3D printing, you can do everything in-house. It is very important to take note that medical tools have to be precise. A small mistake can affect the functionality of the tool. They are going to be used to patients with medical conditions so there should be no mistakes when creating them.
This is where 3D printing thrives the most. 3D printers are known to create precise items all the time. When it comes to precision, nothing beats 3D.
Here are the reasons why 3D printing is perfect for creating medical tools:
- The design process is faster with 3D printing. It can be completed in-house so all the individuals involved can speak freely about the design and polish it. This will lead to a faster design process since they don’t have to send it outside.
- Creating prototypes would be much faster because you already have a 3D printing machine in your institution. Once you have the design, you can just create the prototypes, pinpoint the weakness, and reprint. This will speed up the creation of the actual medical tool.
- You can see the problems with the prototypes immediately and you can communicate them to the design team. Because of this, no time would be wasted and they can create another design for the prototyping process.
3. Affordable Prosthesis
It is a fact that many people lose a limb. It can be a result of an accident or a health condition, but the point is that many people require prostheses to continue their life.
The introduction of 3D printing helped many people to get access to a more affordable prosthesis. You can get a personalized prosthesis that would fit you perfectly without spending too much money. There’s no reason not to get a prosthesis because your finances won’t be an issue.
The manufacturing process is already simpler and the designing phase won’t be too complicated as well. As long as you have a file with the product, 3D printers can easily convert them into working prostheses. Since the process became simpler, the price of the prosthesis also went down significantly.
4. Bioprinting and Tissue Engineering
As of this moment, this medical breakthrough is still in the works. However, the possibility of making it work is very high and this is all thanks to 3D printing.
Most researchers are now looking at bioprinting and tissue engineering as a way to create tissues, blood vessels, and even organs. This is a huge breakthrough in the medical field because if it was made possible, people with organ failures wouldn’t have to look for a donor. They can create a compatible and working organ to replace the problem.
This process is not yet available, but you can expect that medical professionals will find a way to make this work in the future.
You can also check our article on the List of 10 Top Softwares for 3D Printing in 2021.
3D printing revolutionized the healthcare industry as a whole. The processes that seemed impossible in the past became possible because of this. For an industry that requires precision and speed, 3D printing resolved a lot of problems for the medical industry.
If you are looking for 3D printing machines and devices to try out or use for your medical institution, we can help you find the best one.