Huge interest for 3D printing in the health care sector
How do we exploit the potential 3D printing brings to the health care sector? 70 professionals from hospitals, universities, and the health care sector took part in a conference where the subject was debated in the innovation network Danish Healthtech.
The 3D print technology has gone through a massive development. At a conference at the Danish Technological Institute in Aarhus, participants took part in workshops and listened to presentations and examples on how 3D printing is used in the healthcare sector.
The participants saw how 3D printing could be used to stabilize a human windpipe, and to create cartilage implants in titanium. New knees and hip implants have also been printed in 3D when there has been a need for at completely new acetabulum to place the bone in.
Use of 3D implants will increase
3D printing is now a prospect for creating individual human components that are specially designed to fit the individual patient. Furthermore, printing in 3D is time-saving compared to alternative solutions.
- We have used 3D printed implants for three years now, says Martin Lamm, Chief Physician and Sector Chief at orthopaedic Surgery at Aarhus University Hospital.
Martin Lamm has already uses 3D printed implants made of titanium.
- I am sure the use of these implants will increase within the next years because they are designed individually to each patient. It would have been difficult to treat our patients with conventional techniques. 3D has given us a new potential, says Martin Lamm.
The conference invited to two rounds of workshops where the prospects of fabric, plastic, and metal were discussed. Initially, the participants gave ideas to new areas, where 3D can be used, and the discussions later resulted in actual projects and future partnerships.
The professionals in the conference agreed that more 3D skills are much needed and that legislation plays a considerable part in the future of 3D printing. But not all could agree on where the printers and the skills should be located; in the hospitals or with an external supplier?
People see different barriers
Jeppe Skinnerup Byskov, Sous-chef for Industriel 3D print at the Danish Technological Institute found it interesting to hear the various barriers for 3D printing people see.
- Some people think the price is too high and the delivery time is too long when 3D prints are ordered abroad. Others feel there is a lack of knowledge in 3D print in metal. All that ratifies that the efforts, we make for 3D print in Denmark is very relevant, says Jeppe Skinnerup Byskov.