The executive and medical views of 3D printing in the healthcare Industry

10/13/2021

Medical and healthcare are now revamping most of their studies to the next level by adding more technology and advancement. 3D printing is another contributor to today's medical view, as 3D printing is used in creating living human cells for use in regenerative medicines and tissue engineering. In addition, with 3D printing, customized and precise medication manufacturing is easy. For example, Spritam, an epilepsy medication developed by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, is the first-ever FDA-approved 3D printed medication. 

According to predictions from analytics firm GlobalData, 3D printing would be a $32 billion business by 2025. It is increasing to nearly $60 billion by 2030. The software will expand at a considerably higher rate than hardware, services, and materials, between 2018 and 2025, with a Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16 %. 

3D Printing Trends in Healthcare Facilities

It is still to be expected how healthcare gets beneficial with this expansion. Medical institutions accounted for barely 10% of the online printing trend in 2018. On the other hand, the representation of electrical and industrial sectors is almost 50%. However, shifting trends may necessitate the use of more 3D printing in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. According to a recent GlobalData study on 3D printing in healthcare, an aging generation has increased the need for donated organs, while regenerative medicine employing bioprinted, patient-derived stem cells enables personalized treatment of specific disorders.

When contrasted to animal tissue, employing bioprinted human tissue in drug development enables faster and more accurate methods with more significant benefits. It also eliminates the necessity for animal experimentation in the production of drugs and beauty products. 

Big Pharma may revolutionize by 3D printing, with medicines produced and tailored to individual patient needs, including weight and age. The pharmaceutical business may save millions of dollars in expenses, materials, and wastage due to this. Therefore, it should be unsurprising that the epidemic has accelerated the consumption of innovation. 

The 3D printing industry has reacted to the Covid issue by promising to help manufacture critical medical devices. It includes personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators for health facilities dealing with the epidemic. 

The Medical Data

According to new research, evaluating the costs and advantages of integrating 3D printing technology into healthcare institutions can help complex procedures. 

This study is associated with core person Dr. Atanu Chaudhary, an Associate Professor in technology and operation management at Durham University Business school. The other squads who collaborated in this study are the University of Southern Denmark colleagues and ORT Braude College of Engineering in Israel. These researchers examine the usage of 3D printing technology performance. 

The findings demonstrate that 3D printing might help hospitals reduce both time and budgetary burdens. For instance, the procedure that takes 4-8 hours can be cut in half if patient-specific tools are required. And it can take 25-30 minutes if just an anatomic model is applied to design the surgical procedure. In addition, the time it takes for a sufferer to recuperate is also reduced. For example, after surgery, the patient can recover and walk within 2-3 days rather than 4-5 days. 

Furthermore, the patient will prevent any post-surgical problems, avoiding the need for hospitalization or other types of therapy. Chaudhuri does not measure clinical outcomes explicitly, observing that prior procedures had been satisfactory but might have resulted in post-operative problems and a lengthier recovery period. Despite the evident and convincing effects, Chaudhuri and the research squad tread very carefully.

Researchers admit that 3D printing is a massive economic commitment for healthcare institutions, specifically those administered by the British NHS, facing financial strain, particularly during pandemics. However, not only for hospitals but patients, the advantages can significantly surpass the expenses. First, however, you should understand when and how to use it and measure the benefits.

According to the researcher, 3D printing ought to be a collaborative effort among doctors and technologists, with no one side having a clinical or technological benefit above the other. 

There is a misconception that the involvement of surgeons should not be necessary, but the story is something different. The surgeon who knows how to do segmentation and design a guide will be more competitive than others. Several doctors will ultimately want to know regarding 3D printing, as it becomes the core of medical education.  

The other misconception is that "service provider engineers do not have a good understanding of clinical requirements." Again, somewhat it is accurate, but so many service providers have gained clinical experience by dealing with various surgeons. 

What Is the Future of 3D Printing?

It is outstanding to see how 3D printing is making its way to enhance the betterment of healthcare institutions. Besides, there is a need for systematic research to determine which kind of operations and individual features have the most benefit. 

It is the benefit-cost approach if using it for public health care. But, on the other hand, patients should be able to get good value for their money when it comes to private healthcare. 

Surgical procedures will increasingly rely on anatomical modeling. Furthermore, improved 3D printed models will be employed for operational simulations for more complicated designs. The advantages are most significant, accompanied by 3D printing technology, surgical guidance, and implantation.

Although the printing of organs, also known as 3D bioprinting, is still a long way off, progress is being made. Integrating augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) with 3D printing has many possibilities for complicated operations with many visual-spatial intricacies and great anatomical diversity.

According to the doctor, there would be considerable interest in custom-made implantable devices and surgical equipment for patient needs. Orthopedic and Orthopedics oncology are two of the most common implementations of 3D printing in surgery. Cardiology, neurosurgery, and craniomaxillofacial surgery are the most common types of complicated remodeling surgeries. 

The Executive's Perspective

Executives will be just as influential as medical professionals in shaping the outcome of 3D printing in healthcare institutions. But, as per the statistics, it feels that management is paying attention.

In a survey conducted in 2019 from GlobalData's Emerging Technology Trends, a total of 146 healthcare executives from 23 countries were polled. All of the participants said they were interested in innovative and upcoming technology to some extent.

It is evaluated that ¾ of medical device manufacturers predicted that disruption would occur in the sector due to 3D printing. They further said when asked about how long 3D printing impacts the healthcare sector. 62% of leaders said that 3D printing would take 2-3 years to disrupt the industry.  

A total of 67 percent of participants said their company was prepared for the potential implications of 3D printing, while about one-third said they were not. Now, several medical device companies are adopting 3D printing technology. However, 15% of them did not want to use it for almost the next three years.

When questioned how much money they plan to invest in 3D printing in the coming five years. The majority of medical device businesses anticipate spending more than they do now. It indicates that, despite their reservations about the extent of the impending impact, some firms aim to boost their expenditures on the technology. According to two-fifths of the firms questioned, a few hurdles to implementing 3D printing is the lack of transparency of return on investment (ROI). In addition, budget restrictions, technological integration problems, and inadequate knowledge were all mentioned as roadblocks. Because participants were concerned about ROI and a lack of in-house capabilities, a large percentage of firms (67 percent) decided to forego building in-house expertise in preference of collaborations with existing 3D printing technology suppliers. 

A question also asked the expected goal they wanted to accomplish if they invested in 3D printing. Again, 53% of respondents anticipated gaining efficiency and 49% innovation. 

Bottom line

Manufacturing of 3D equipment is possible with 3D printing. It substantially decreases the time and cost it takes to obtain new medical equipment from a third-party vendor. 3D printers provide cost-effective prostheses where they are needed, such as in underdeveloped or war-damaged areas. In addition, they are a cost-effective alternative for those who can not bear the cost of purchasing a prosthesis. 

In addition, the production method and subsequent implementations are simplified. Because prostheses must be customized to the individual, making them the conventional manner is highly pricey. Users may pick from various shapes, styles, dimensions, and colors for individual prostheses, thanks to 3D printers. With 3D printers, you can easily access prostheses at a reduced cost. 

3D printing is crucial in the education of new doctors and the preparation of open surgeries. Although 2D pictures are essential, they lack visualization and do not depict a proper body organ. Models created with 3D printing, on the other hand, appear lifelike and closely resemble real human organs. In addition, it improves the accuracy and efficiency of the actual operation.

For a more enhanced medical, educational system, doctors will be practicing on the 3D printing models. Training and Educating doctors on human body-like 3D printed models improves their skills throughout training and medical safety.