08 November 2019
The 3D printing market certainly shows no signs of slowing. It seems nearly every day new technology is introduced that enables everyone from medical professionals to manufacturers to take advantage of the process. However, the healthcare industry, in particular, is poised to provide some great cutting edge advances from this innovative technology in the years ahead.
As one of the industry’s leading experts, the team from Visiongain has collated some insight and market data to make their case as to why the 3D printing marketing is set to experience significant growth where the medical sector is concerned.
Doing Away with Some of the Industry’s Outdated Practices
One of the ways the 3D printing market is set to experience a surge of growth as far as healthcare is concerned is in the manufacturing of functional anatomical models. Such ultra-realistic models will soon become the norm to be used in training and surgery preparation, minimizing and possibly eliminating the need for the use of animal subjects or cadavers. One of the foremost issues with cadavers and current 3D-training modules is that such practices are unable to replicate a live-tissue feel. However, innovative 3D-printing technology can, making it a preferable choice for many medical practitioners.
Far-Reaching Applications for the Pharmaceutical Industry
3D printing technology is also revolutionizing the pharmaceutical industry by offering increased applications in the creation of controlled-release or 4D pharmaceuticals. Because they tend to change shape over time once ingested, it can be difficult to administer the proper dosage frequencies for one-time pill ingestion due to factors such as body mass. The goal for doctors is to increase patient convenience by limiting the number of doses over time. 3D printing technology can also be used in expedited formulation testing, to determine proper tablet size and dissolution properties, as well as deployment methods.
One innovative approach employing a 3D printing method was for a popular epilepsy pill for those unable to ingest medicine in traditional pill-form. Referred to as ZipDose, this production method enabled manufacturers to create a medication printed in layers that dissolve upon the tongue in seconds, while still bearing the same time-release technology essential for controlled-released medications.
Barriers to Entry for 3D Printing in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Although there are a number of opportunities for the 3D printing market to expand in the healthcare industry, there are also some existing barriers manufacturers will need to overcome in the future. The first of these include making it economically viable, as the materials needed for the printing of pills are not cheaply and readily available. The changes such innovation will bring to the supply chain of medicine is also another notable factor.
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