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3D Printing Applications for Hospitals and Patient-Specific Procedures

This report delves into different ways the recent adoption of affordable in-house printing is impacting hospitals and medical device manufacturers.

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Medical Device Prototyping

Creating Better Products
Case Study: Prototyping and Testing in Device Development

Supply Chain Shortages

Driving Supply Chain Readiness
Case Study: COVID-19 Test Swabs
How ROE Dental Lab Pivoted to Manufacturing Medical Supplies to Fight COVID-19

Cost Savings

Saving Money in a Time of High Prices
Case Study: Saving £8,000 and Two Hours of Surgery Time at the UK’s Leading Spinal Unit with 3D Printing

Patient-Specific Anatomical Models

Personal Surgery

Orthotics & Assistive Devices

Case Study: Father Helps Son With Cerebral Palsy Walk With Custom 3D Printed Orthosis

Get Started With 3D Printing

Medical Applications

Few fields change as quickly as the medical industry; from groundbreaking new drugs, to cutting edge technologies saving lives in the emergency room. While 3D printing has been deployed in various medical disciplines for decades, the recent emergence of affordable desktop printing has highlighted the potential to truly improve care and the patient's medical experience.

This report looks five different ways the recent adoption of affordable in-house printing is impacting hospital and device manufacturers.

Driving Supply Chain Readiness

Unexpected shocks, such as natural disasters or political unrest, can suddenly impact the supply chain of any industry. For the healthcare system, these shocks can cause immense disruption of patient care, as reduced levels of PPE and vital equipment required to treat patients haults surgery and basic care. During an emergency, hospitals and healthcare systems often have to compete against each other for vital equipment and supplies, bidding up prices on the open market. For these reasons, there has been a growing interest in in-house 3D printing to provide hospitals with autonomy over their supply chain.

Switching an existing fleet of in-house printers to PPE and/or medical supply production can take just a few days: once a part need is identified, and print production systems put in place, items can be created within hours. Hospitals can provide surge capacity for their own departments without taking supplies out of circulation that other hospitals need. Best of all, once supply is met for the local healthcare network, a hospital can begin shipping supplies to other institutions.

Examples are numerous, in part due to the versatility of 3D printing. Almost any part that can be created in CAD software can be printed, enabling hospitals to create items from plastic replacement parts for critical equipment to ventilator splitters that increase capacity to treat patients experiencing respiratory failure.

Here, BiPAP adapters were printed in SG Resin on a Formlabs SLA printer. Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare provider, designed 3D printed adapters that can be used to convert bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines, typically used for patients suffering from sleep apnea, into functional invasive mechanical ventilators.

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