The Promise of 3D Printing in Healthcare

A Forbes article outlines just a few ways that 3D Printing promises to significantly alter healthcare from bioprinting to pill printing, 3D printing will offer more effective services at much lower costs.

How 3D Printing Could Change The Health Industry

The impacts of 3D printing go beyond its practical benefits. According to The Guardian, the technology is expected to be worth no less than $1.3 billion by 2021 and looks set to disrupt the cost implications of several medical procedures. The typical kidney transplant, for instance, costs an average of $330,000, according to the National Foundation for Transplants. The conventional 3D bioprinter, on the other hand, retails for just $10,000. In the not too distant future, prices of medical procedures and biomedicines could see a drastic cut in cost if competition increases because of 3D printers. In addition to reducing costs, 3D printers may also simplify treatment.

A New Organ Transplant Landscape

3D printers have successfully recreated body parts as complex as blood vessels, which proves that this technology has a lot of untapped potential. As of today, organoids (mini organs) are already being built by medical professionals. In 2017, a team of biomedical engineers from Pohang University in South Korea, using a 3D printer and living tissue were successful at developing what they called bio-blood-vessels. In vitro cloning of full body parts has for a long while been a dream of the 21st-century medical sphere and while this feat demonstrates the disruptive nature of 3D printing, it is just a scratch on the surface of the possibilities heralded by 3D printing. I believe a comprehensive framework that allows for the production and parsing of these smaller tissue bits is within reach and can be developed to foster organ creation — a development that would provide a step forward in the need for organ transplants.

Smarter Drugs

3D printing presents pharmacologists with a new level of precision that can help them design pills that house several drugs, all with different release times, providing a potential solution to those who suffer from a range of ailments and need to taa large number of pills. One such drug, produced by a 3D printer, is available for sufferers of hypertension and diabetes. The ingenious design of these drugs allows them to smartly release different therapeutic compounds at specified times, a feat that is made possible by 3D printings increased precision and accuracy.

Read More at Forbes
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Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines. He is the director of Social Cognito, an SEO/Web Marketing Company. You can reach Paul at pg@istate.tv