How does 3d printing help improve patient care?

Future doctors can practice with 3D printed organs. This is much more accurate than, for example, training with animal organs. Training in 3D printed parts similar to human ones increases the quality of the skills that doctors acquire during the training and medical treatment of patients. In the healthcare sector, 3D bioprinting is used to create living human cells or tissues for use in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.

Organovo and EnvisionTec are the pioneers of this technology. Aprecia Pharmaceuticals' Spritam for epilepsy is the first and only 3D printed drug approved by the FDA. The ability to visualize and explore complex anatomy as a real three-dimensional object allows medical professionals to afford decision-making support that was not available before. In a clinical setting, 3D printed models provide an opportunity to increase understanding of anatomical and pathological structures.

The models serve as practical tools for testing the placement of implants and other medical devices, and for predicting surgical activities. Advances, such as multicolor and multi-material printing, can also help to better simulate the surgical environment for pre-surgical planning and intraoperative reference. These models offer a dynamic complement to on-screen displays to build trust in healthcare decisions. Recent advances in 3D printing in the healthcare sector have made it possible to manufacture lighter, stronger and safer products, reduce delivery times and reduce costs.

Manufacturers can also use the first 3D printed parts to support clinical trials or early commercialization while the final design is still being optimized. The market for 3D printing for healthcare increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, when some hospitals relied on this technology to quickly launch personal protective equipment and medical devices. 3D printed models offer an additional option for doctors to better understand patients' anatomies before treatment. The models themselves make it easier for hospitals and other point-of-care organizations (POC) to plan surgeries and help teach or explain complex medical concepts, for example, to a patient who is going to undergo surgery.

In addition to providing a simple and accurate workflow for exporting models to 3D printers, the Simpleware software is also used to prepare models for future CAD design work, for example, for medical device manufacturers who carry out implant analysis and iterative design. 3D models, which can be multi-part, are converted into a series of surface meshes and are prepared for 3D printing by adding connectors and information about the color of the surface. This method uses 3D scanning techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging, X-ray computed tomography or 3D ultrasound to produce a volumetric image of the anatomy. It involves the creation of physical replicas of anatomical structures using 3D printing processes (also known as additive manufacturing).

FDM 3D printing technology is ideal for creating iterative and low-cost prototypes to optimize the design of a tool. One of the ways in which the medical industry has been improved and improved is through the use of 3D printers. These three-dimensional fabrics offer a much more precise imitation of reality, which translates into much more predictive results for drug candidates, reducing failures in the last stages. The 3D printer is so precise that custom parts can be designed and sent to print in a very short time.

Precision medicine has the potential to radically change the way health services are delivered, as it combines medical expertise with the latest technology to offer personalized treatments for each patient. Currently, doctors use models produced by 3D printing based on scanned patient data to improve the diagnosis of diseases, clarify treatment decisions, plan and, in some cases, even practice the chosen surgical interventions before the actual treatments.

Therese Rumberger
Therese Rumberger

Award-winning pop culture junkie. Avid introvert. Evil internet maven. Infuriatingly humble music buff. Passionate music ninja.

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