Current And Projected Healthcare Applications Of 3d Printing Essay

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Introduction

Three-dimensional (3D) printing, also known as rapid prototyping (RP) and additive manufacturing (AM), is a transformational technology that is anticipated to revolutionize the healthcare industry. Current and projected healthcare applications of 3D printing include: customized prosthetics; personalized surgical implants; drug delivery, pre-operative and educational anatomical models; and tissue and organ engineering. The implications of 3D printing are expected to be considerable and include benefits such as: improved efficiency and reduced costs; personalized medicine; and increased collaboration . The implementation of this technology does not come without significant challenges, however. The healthcare industry is one of the most regulated in the Unites States, hype can contribute to idealized expectations, biocompatible materials must be identified, and intellectual property may be difficult to protect as a result of 3D printing. This article reviews current advances in 3D printing and the current and projected healthcare applications that will improve quality and decrease costs.

Healthcare in the United States

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, healthcare spending in the United State grew 3.6 percent in 2013, totaling $2.9 trillion; and accounting for 17.4 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product . In an effort to combat rising costs, broaden access to healthcare, and improve the quality of care, several laws and

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