3D printing is part of the innovative process called additive manufacturing, which means the production of three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. It is a well-known fact that medical equipment is expensive. Total spending on medical devices in the U.S. reached about $150 billion in 2010, or roughly a nickel of every health-care dollar, according to the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), the industry’s trade group. Thus, 3D printing splints, medical models used before surgeries or other necessary means for healing could result in saving huge amounts of money. And there are already brilliant examples on the market how to do it!
Today, 3D printing is making it cheaper and quicker for patients to receive certain types of healthcare cheaper and quicker, especially when it comes to limps replacement. For example, A low-end 3D printer can print his splint quickly and affordably, about 2¢ worth of ABS plastic in about ten minutes! For developing countries, where splints can often be ordered from oversees only in bulk, it could mean the cheapest solution for poor communities. At the same time, it could easily serve personal needs.
Researchers in China and the US have both 3D printed models of cancerous tumors to aid discovery of new anti–cancer drugs and to better understand how tumors develop, grow, and spread. Researchers have also used scans of animal hearts to create printed models, and then added stretchy electronics on top of those models. Below: example of a 3D printed ear.
Also, consider this amazing scenario below. A nine-month-old baby was born with a fatal heart defect in China. He was suffering from a rare condition extremely difficult to repair. The team of experienced doctors decided to build a full-sized model of his tiny heart with the use of a 3D printer to pre-plan the complicated surgery. This was the first time someone used this method in China. The doctors completed the extremely risky and complicated surgery in March 2016.They were successful and the little boy is expected to survive with little to no lasting ill-effects.
In another case, a Dutch surgeons replaced the entire top of a 22 year–old woman’s skull with a customized printed implant made from plastic. The unnamed 22-year-old patient was suffering from a rare condition that caused the inside of her skull to grow extra bone, which squeezed her brain. The growth was discovered after she reported severe headaches and then lost her sight and motor control. If untreated, the extra bone would have killed her.
Care-mart Inc will soon be offering 3D printing services to all healthcare patients at super low prices. Stay tune.