The medical community continues to be one of the fastest growing users of additive manufacturing technologies. With a long history of 3D printing being utilized to enhance medical device creation, enhancements to printing technologies have facilitated a vast array of uses beyond simple device creation. As utilization of these technologies continues to rise, additive manufacturing continues to be a great facilitator of precision medicine throughout clinics accross North America. Amongst the leaders of emerging additive medical applications lies surgical planning - physicians around the world are using 3D printing technologies to convert patient data into functional models, used for both educational and practical purposes. In today's post, we will be revieing a recent post written by Dr. Vijay Iver.
With the recent explosion of medical 3D printing, the focus tends to lie on novel, unique applications of the technology; undoubtedly, additive manufacturing is the disruptive technology that will give rise to unparalleled patient care and innovative procedures. Furthermore, the impact that the technology currrently has is often highlighted by applications utilizing leading-edge 3D technologies. Whilst making a tremendous impact, the unfortunate reality is that not all healthcare institutions have access to these technologies - for now. In today's post, we are going to highlight how entry-level professional 3D printing solutions can also impact the realm of healthcare, being used to create customized teaching tools for med students and hospital residents alike.
In today's post, we will consider the hospital opportunity to take advantage of 3D printing to improve patient care, research, education and training, and overall hospital efficiency.
Additive Manufacturing is creating a process to actually ‘engineer’ and ‘design’ an Ankle-Foot Orthotic for a specific patient. Different amounts or types of material can be printed to provide a specified stiffness and allow areas of flexibility, based on the patient presentation. This exciting technology opens up an entirely new tool box that the clinician can use to enhance patient outcomes.
Stratasys 3D printing helped Madanagopal arrive at an optimized design more quickly than CDL expected. The printed models were so precise that engineers could perform functional testing on the living hinges and snap-fit closures.
At the company’s inception, computer simulations and cadavers were the only way to train professionals on neurosurgery equipment. CBMTI felt 3D bio models could greatly enhance training, and became interested in 3D printing as a way to build quality models quickly, and with unparalleled realism.