When we think about the impact of 3D printing on the healthcare industry, we mostly think about the product innovations it enables. From today’s reality of 3D printing fully-customized skull implants, to future hopes and promises of printing vital organs. These product innovations build on the fact that 3D printing is an inherently digital manufacturing technology, enabling complex designs and increased functionality. Moreover, 3D printing allows for the creation of patient specific instruments and truly personalized implants that take into account the patient’s unique anatomy.
However, the impact of the technology doesn’t end there; 3D printing also enables significant process innovations. In today’s digital world, medical and manufacturing expertise is scattered around the globe, but when we consider the delivery of care, we want to be as close to the patient as possible. 3D printing has the potential to deeply modify the delivery of healthcare by transforming global expertise into local care, helping to reduce production costs and improving delivery times. Hospitals around the world recognize the added value 3D printing brings to personalized patient care. As a result, an increasing amount of hospitals have integrated 3D printing in their medical offering and are creating point-of-care 3D printing facilities.