In recent years the growth of 3D printing has delivered ground-breaking improvements to a whole range of sectors across the globe, including aviation, automotive and even space exploration. According to Ireland’s leading provider of 3D printing solutions, however, hospitals are now adopting 3D printing across a variety of applications and are reaping significant benefits in a time of budget constraints and Covid challenges.
MedScan3D, based in Galway City’s medical technology hub, is Ireland’s leading provider of 3D printed anatomical models and is seeing a significant increase in demand for 3D printed products amongst Irish hospitals. According to Technical Director Jacqui O’Connor, the awareness of 3D anatomical models, and the benefits they provide, is significantly increasing amongst medical professionals. “There is no doubt that we are seeing a significant increase in demand for our anatomical models from the Irish medical community. There is a real recognition now of the numerous advantages of utilising these models in terms of cost savings and efficiencies.”
The main benefit of anatomically accurate 3D models is a significant increase in the success of surgical procedures, as patient specific models can be printed that provide surgeons and medical professionals more detailed information, ensuring a reduction on errors and mistakes at the time of the procedure.
In addition to better success rates of the actual procedures, the anatomical models provide for a faster speed of recovery and less post-surgical complications and appointments. The logic is simple – the better the initial procedure goes, the more efficient the overall experience, meaning reduced costs for both hospitals and patients alike. At a time when Irish hospitals continue to be under significant budgetary pressures, awareness of the benefits of 3D printed anatomical models has increased significantly in the last 12 months.
While 3D printing is playing a major role in improving specific surgical procedures, 3D printed anatomical models have also come to the fore in terms of medical training and education. They are allowing students and professionals to optimise their skills and increase their familiarity with a particular piece of patient specific anatomy before undertaking a live procedure. Increased efficiencies and reduced costs are the result once more, with better trained professionals providing a better standard of care with less complications occurring.
While the importance of adopting 3D printing technology amongst Irish hospitals continues to be recognised, in some circumstances the availability of onsite expertise within a hospital can prove challenging. In these instances the use of third party service providers such as MedScan3D, and its sister company 3D Technology Ltd., are providing hospitals a turnkey solution to address their needs.
“Oftentimes hospitals we deal with might not be in a position to develop onsite 3D printing capabilities for a variety of reasons” says O’Connor. “We are able to act as a 3D printing service provider, providing hospitals with the anatomical models they need to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Our sister company 3D Technology Ltd., meanwhile, also offers hospitals a variety of on demand printing solutions as well as providing and installing the very latest in 3D printers.”