The rapid emergence and evolution of 3D printing technology has created new opportunities for healthcare providers. It has allowed them to improve patient care quality by providing a more accurate and personalized diagnosis and treatment. This technology is also being used to enhance the efficiency of the operating room. Some specialties that see the most significant use of this technology include oncology and cardiology.
A 3D printer creates a three-dimensional object out of a digital model. It then reads a digital blueprint and produces the object by adding layers using ultraviolet light and filament. Here are some of the top ways 3D printing is impacting healthcare.
Creating Implants and Prosthetics
The FDA first approved the use of 3D technology for the development of dental implants. It has since been allowed to be used for other complex implants. A study conducted in 2021 revealed that this technology has the potential to improve the quality of care provided to patients with musculoskeletal injuries. According to the study, the use of 3D printing could potentially transform how orthopedic surgeons treat these patients.
In the U.S., around 200,000 amputations happen each year. Each one requires a replacement or modification, which can take a long time and cost money. With the help of 3D printing technology, doctors can now create custom-fit and personalized limbs that fit the needs of their patients.
In addition to being used for the development of medical devices, the technology is also being used by doctors to create tools that are more accurate and effective when it comes to performing procedures. These tools are typically made of aluminum or titanium and can be used to guide the placement of various restorative materials. The use of 3D printing technology allows them to improve the efficiency of their operations.
Developing Anatomical Replicas
Although the technology has primarily been used to develop medical devices, it is also being used to create anatomical replicas. This technology is being used by doctors to improve the diagnosis and treatment of various illnesses. They can create models of their patients’ bodies using data collected from scans. In some cases, they even practice performing the procedures they plan on using in advance.
Doctors can now visualize the anatomy of their patients, which is often difficult to do with traditional methods, especially when performing minimally invasive procedures. The use of these models can also help them precisely size medical devices. In addition, they can use them to explain upcoming procedures to the families and patients.