Healthcare is rapidly changing and by this, I mean that the technology of delivery and care is advancing faster than the providers, the insurers and the patients can keep up. We are going to be seeing a remarkable transformation over the next few decades that will benefit patients most, and much of this is due to advances in 3D printing.
Now, some of this already exists today. There are prototypes built everyday by manufacturers using this technology for research and development but only a handful have fully embraced this technology in medical device implantation for patients. For example, there are cutting jigs that are designed and printed based off the patient’s individual anatomy that act as guides for the surgeon to define bone margins and planned cuts or alignment principles during orthopedic surgery. Commonly, a CT scan of the patient’s bones and joints is visualized with landmarks identified that plot the proposed positions and cuts the surgeon is going to make to accommodate for the proposed implant. This can theoretically and practically simplify complex procedures in to a ‘paint by numbers’ solution.
By Dr. Faisal Mirza | 3DHeals
Photo Credit: Jairo Alzate