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.
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.
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