3D Printing for Veterans' Healthcare

3D Printing for Veterans' Healthcare

Manufacturing Technology Insights | Tuesday, March 26, 2019

3D printing has turned into a buzz word these days, but while leveraging cutting-edge technology in the healthcare sector, researchers need to be more focused on the security aspect. The 3D-printed tools for designing cardiac-mapping catheters from the researchers of the Stanford University, creation of chemically coated ceramic implants from the researchers of the New York University, and the endeavour to build 3D-printed artificial lung at the VA Ann Arbor Health Care System in Michigan to help the soldiers suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be seen as essential measures toward the deployment of this technique to improve the prevailing scenario of the healthcare sector.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs enhanced its virtual 3D printing network from three in 2017 to 20 by the end of 2018, and this expansion is aimed at helping the veteran people of the country by printing model kidneys for patients suffering from renal cancer and forming hand orthotics to make fast replacement of the broken or damaged orthotic. To facilitate the whole process VA Puget Sound Health Care System and GE Healthcare has gone under a partnership to make an appropriate integration between GE Healthcare's advanced software and VA's experience. Moreover, under this partnership, it is expected, the time of the whole process will be reduced on a large scale, as GE Healthcare's visualization aspect will allow the experts to leverage automation techniques to simplify the pre-3D-printing preparation and the diagnostic process.

This initiative has all the potentials to revamp the existing scenario of the U.S. healthcare sector providing the veteran members of the society with a better opportunity to combat their health issues in a more meditated and cost-effective way. Moreover, the whole process does not demand the expense of valuable time. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) can be counted as one of the most significant initiatives from the government to serve almost one-third of the total population. 3D printing has exhibited enormous potential in healthcare. Statista predicts the estimation of the 3D printing market will be $26.2 billion by 2022. Substantial investments are yet to be made to revolutionize this sector. 

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