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Applications of 3D printing in medical technology

17 May 2022

Medical technology.

The World Health Organization defines health technology as the application of skills and organized knowledge for the improvement of health. This technology takes the form of medicines, vaccines, systems, and devices that solve problems and improve lives.

Here are some examples of medical technologies. Read on for more information. Here are some of the most common ones. Listed below are some examples:

Applications of 3D printing in medical technology.

While most applications of 3D printing in medical technology have been focused on medical devices and implants, there are some potential areas for the technology in this sector. One such application is anatomical replicas. While animal models and human cadavers are useful, they are limited in number and can only be used in certain types of clinical trials, and mannequins do not accurately reflect human anatomy and tissue characteristics. 3D printing has the potential to overcome these problems and more.A patient's anatomical target is selected and a three-dimensional geometric model of that part is created using 3D medical images.

Next, the file is sent to the 3D printer and manufactured layer by layer with the help of raw materials. The finished product is then shaped and fit the patient's body exactly. The patient receives a high-quality model that will be used to repair damaged organs.A third area for 3D printing in medical technology is the development of personalised surgical tools. Such tools would allow surgeons to perform surgeries faster and with more dexterity. Surgical instruments could also be designed with biocompatible materials such as metals and high-performance thermoplastics. A surgical tool made from metal 3D-printed material was developed by the endocon GmbH, a German medical device company.

Assessments and safety requirements for medical devices.

Biocompatibility is an important aspect of medical device safety. Biological tests should be conducted to assess the likelihood of adverse effects on humans and other animals. Materials used should be of medical grade and free of safety concerns. The degradability of materials should be evaluated as well as the degradation profile. Biocompatibility testing can help identify potential risks and make decisions about the appropriate materials. A medical device's biocompatibility needs to be tested to ensure that it is safe and effective.The IEC 60601 series of standards define the fundamental requirements for safety and essential performance of medical devices. These requirements apply to laboratory and patient care settings. These standards focus on electrical hazards, but also consider mechanical, radiation, and environment-specific hazards.

The resulting standards address these concerns before a medical device can be released for clinical use. Ultimately, the safety of the device relies on the effectiveness of its design and implementation.Depending on the risk level of a particular medical device, there are different assessment procedures. Depending on the device's purpose and risk, a risk-benefit ratio may need to be established. Depending on the type of risk, the Notified Body can either issue a certificate of conformity or request additional data from the manufacturer. The certificate is valid for five years and can be extended with reassessment. Currently, there are limited Notified Bodies, but that situation will change over time.

Artificial intelligence.

The application of artificial intelligence in medicine is gaining momentum, with several potential uses ranging from clinical decision-making to improved care management. Artificial intelligence is especially useful in identifying risk factors for multiple chronic diseases, reducing global burden, and improving quality of life. It is also helpful in resource allocation and problem-solving, and can be used in patient-monitoring applications. Artificial intelligence can be used in clinical decision-making and in health information systems.One example is the Microsoft Hanover project, which analyzes biomedical research to identify early-stage heart disease, and drug treatment options. Such early detections can lead to more treatable episodes. Another example is the NHS, which uses Google's DeepMind platform to identify health risks.

IBM has also recently invested in Lumiata, a medical startup that uses AI to recognize and monitor at-risk patients. However, further developments in this field are needed to ensure that artificial intelligence in medical technology becomes a practical and viable option for the healthcare industry.AI is particularly useful in fields where large amounts of data are available, such as clinical diagnosis. It has the potential to identify individual prognosis in psychiatry, diagnose cancer in CT scans, and classify skin lesions. It can also analyze patient data, including facial photos and vital signs monitoring systems, and even identify phenotypes of rare genetic diseases. AI applications can help doctors improve patient care and provide more support to medical staff.

 

Robotic surgery.

The earliest robotic systems were used to perform stereotaxic surgeries in the 1980s. The technology used computed tomography to guide the placement of needles. However, the stereotaxic operation was not without error, especially with hand tremors. Another robot, PROBOT, was developed at Imperial College London to perform transurethral prostate surgery. The repetitive motion of cutting the prostate gland was not suitable for the surgeon to perform the operation himself. Other robotic systems include ROBODOC and Integrated Surgical Systems. These robots can make precise cuts, but there is no feedback from the surgeon.The da Vinci system uses a miniature surgical robot to perform a single-site laparoscopic procedure. The da Vinci robot uses a robot with multiple arms to make a miniaturized incision.

Unlike traditional surgical methods, the robot is equipped with seven degrees of motion, which allows it to move precisely. While the da Vinci system uses multiple manipulators and robotic arms, the single-site laparoscopic robot is more ergonomic and uses a smaller incision.While a robot will not replace a physician, it will certainly help surgeons make more efficient decisions. The surgical robot can be used in both outpatient and inpatient procedures. For patients, the robotic technology is the best alternative. The advantages of this technology are many, but the most compelling is the improved patient experience. As the technology improves, the demand for robotic surgical systems will only rise. If you want to learn more about the benefits of robotic technology, start your journey today.

 

Wearable continuous glucose monitors.

The wearable continuous glucose monitor is a type of diabetes management device that provides real-time information about a person's blood sugar levels. It can also alert a patient if their blood sugar level is too high or too low. These devices are a convenient and effective way to manage diabetes and improve glycemic control and HbA1C levels. Earlier, blood sugar meters required finger pricking to provide results.With an insulin pump, patients don't have to worry about changing test strips. These devices also have wireless transmitters that can alert the user of high blood sugar. The data can also be shared with other people. A person can monitor their glucose levels from a smartphone.

These devices are particularly helpful to elderly people, who may have difficulty remembering to check their blood glucose levels. They may also be at risk of memory loss or other health complications.Despite the difficulties that aging people with diabetes face, wearable glucose monitors could make life much easier for these patients. In addition to providing real-time information, these devices eliminate the need to do finger-prick tests. The NHS is now introducing wearable continuous glucose monitors in partnership with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. It may even be possible to develop such a device for those with impaired memory. They have a long way to go before they are available for general use, but for now, the market is still growing.

 

Augmented and virtual reality.

While augmented and virtual reality (VR) have been used for a number of different applications, this technology is still relatively new. Currently, medical professionals have to wait for a certain amount of time to see if this technology can benefit patients. Also, doctors need time to figure out how best to integrate this technology into their existing workflows. In the meantime, however, experts expect more applications of this technology in the near future.One such practical application of augmented and virtual reality is in vein visualisation. Many patients are uncomfortable about receiving injections or blood and finding veins is a challenge.

Using an AR device such as AccuVein, healthcare workers can project a map of a patient's veins onto their skin. This helps them to accurately locate veins on patients and decreases the risk of painful and sometimes even fatal needle pokes.In addition to helping medical professionals learn, the technology can also help students improve their skills and learn about procedures without putting real patients at risk. Virtual reality simulations also allow medical students to practice procedures without harming real patients. Because of the scarcity of real patients for practical training, medical schools can avoid cadavers and moral dilemmas in this process. Its widespread use in medical training will likely become more widespread than ever.