A revolutionary concept currently standing on the precipice of fame and fortune, 3D printing in healthcare market has unquestionably given rise to a plethora of documented successes. Once considered miracles, these successes have invariably paved the way for a debatable set of questions, primarily concerning large-scale deployment of the technology in the medical sector. Healthcare 3D printing market, according to some analysts, has already gone mainstream, however, many others claim that this fraternity is yet to be commercially, legally, and ethically available for the masses.
The former speculation by the proponents may be based on the fact that 3D printing has already been used for manufacturing dental implants, dental devices, hearing aids, and more. For instance, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have recently brought forth a unique device called ‘Earable’, that is essentially a 3D printed sensor designed to monitor a person’s core body temperature in real time, besides functioning as a regular hearing aid and a sign sensor. Another path-breaking innovation that recently came to the fore is the 3D printed titanium hearing aid by Sonova. These developments stand as a crucial evidence to the score of enhancements that have been making the scene in healthcare 3D printing industry recently.
Healthcare 3D printing market trends in the pharmaceutical sector
Medical experts have exhibited incredible optimism with regards to the application of 3D printing in healthcare industry, especially in the pharmaceutical domain. In a study conducted by the Queensland University of Technology, Australia, researchers state that a 3D printable bio-ink designed to depict numerous mechanical properties and support human cell growth may be the answer to the failure of clinical drug trials. Using 3D printing, drugs can be customized and printed as per patient requirements, which may also reduce the usage of animals for drug testing. This factor alone may act as a major driver propelling the growth map of healthcare 3D printing market.
As per a study published in 2016, the first 3D printed drug, Sprintam, for the treatment of epilepsy, was manufactured and commercialized by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, and has obtained the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Three-dimensional printing allows for the manufacture of porous medicines, enabling the possibility of inducing high drug doses in a single tablet that can be ingested quickly. The deployment of 3D printing from drug manufacturing is thus, likely to augment healthcare 3D printing industry share from pharmaceutical applications.
Healthcare 3D printing market trends in the organ regeneration & prosthetics sector
Even prior to the official deployment of 3D printing for organ regeneration, experts had predicted that the technology would indeed bring about a slew of changes in the prosthetics and organ regeneration sector. Numerous instances provide unabashed evidence of the same, thereby paving the path for the growth of healthcare 3D printing market. The usage of 3D printing for prosthetics has been gaining remarkable traction of late, subject to the surprisingly modest success rate. For instance, recently, the National Institute of Rome Tumori Regina Elena, Italy, became the first hospital in the country to use personalized titanium implants for repairing the bones damaged due to bone cancer. Furthermore, a research paper published in Nature Biotechnology categorically states that a group of scientists were able to fabricate the bone, muscle, and cartilage structures to print a human ear by means of a self-created 3D-bioprinter.
This study only goes to prove the extent to which 3D printing may help in organ regeneration, which by extension, will fuel healthcare 3D printing industry. In the event that this technology combats the pressing issue of organ shortage for transplants, healthcare 3D printing market will observe a meteoric rise like never before. In the year 2013, a 2-year old born without the trachea actually had a 3D-printed windpipe built with her own stem cells. The incident led to the U.S. government funding a ‘body on a chip’ project to print tissue samples mimicking the functions of vital organs such as the liver, heart, and lungs. All in all, the numerous innovations in healthcare 3D printing market only go to prove that this industry is slated to achieve remarkable heights of growth in the ensuing years.
Healthcare 3D printing industry veraciously boasts of a rather diverse and colossal application sphere. The 3D printing technology is undoubtedly one of the most revolutionary technologies of its time, predicted to transform the perspective of the medical fraternity. It would be gravely erroneous to state that healthcare 3D printing market is at the nascent stage, pertaining to the fact that this business space is experiencing an opulence of innovations that have the capability to bring about a breakthrough in the dynamics of the healthcare sector. Major 3D printing healthcare industry players have been doing their utmost to bring about novelty and innovation in 3D printed medical devices since many years, that may very soon penetrate the masses. For instance, in 2013, the Nano3D Biosciences launched a new technology deploying magnetic levitation that enables four types of products to be assembled into the lung tissue. Besides, experts claim that the deployment of 3D printing in healthcare market is likely to bring forth a near permanent solution for organ transplants.
However, it is also true that healthcare 3D printing industry may experience slight obstacles on the path to success, subject to the robust enforcement of regulatory norms pertaining to the mass commercialization of this technique. In the event that the technology fails to work successfully on certain patients, which may very well be the case, subject to the fact that medical technologies work differently on different patients, as per their body constituency and genetic systems, companies operating in healthcare 3D printing market may find themselves embroiled in an ugly legal battle of sorts.
Attesting to this very fact, healthcare 3D printing industry has not been accepted in the lines of the conventional verticals of the medical fraternity. Nonetheless, this only serves to indicate that this business space will witness widespread popularity over the years to come, with an incessant number of R&D activities being carried out to validate its working methodology for most human body systems. In addition, the repeated successes related to 3D printing that are being chronicled on a daily basis provide ample testimony to the fact that the application of 3D printing in healthcare market is indeed the most progressive, radical phenomena that the medical sector may have experienced in a long, long time.