Very few up-and-coming innovations excite people the way 3-D printing does, whether you’re talking about its current capabilities or its amazing potential. Now that technology has met “soft” needs such as communication and information-gathering, the next step is creating technology capable of manipulating the physical world — a capability that 3-D printing in medicine seems to already display. The technology is already simplifying, expediting, and improving medicine in astounding ways, and has even more impressive advancements on the horizon.
Apart from prosthetic limbs an alternative prosthetics which are all about material replacement, improving manufacturing processes is another field where 3- printing technology is shaping up well. Spiritam became the first 3-D-printed medication to receive FDA approval in 2015, bringing more benefits than just simplified manufacturing with it. The tablets melt in the mouth almost instantly as they are considerably more porous than traditionally manufactured medications and their layered construction allows for extremely precise active-ingredient dosages, lessening the variance between batches seen in traditionally manufactured medications.
However, the implication of 3-D printing in medicine on the pharmaceutical industry is far greater than a more consistent finished product. The technology will eventually usher in a new era of personalized medications which will allow care providers to prescribe and produce patient-specific dosages based on numerous factors instead of relying on the dosages recommended by pharmaceutical companies. Pharmacies could also custom-print all-in-one medications based on provider’s findings which will ultimately lead to lowering costs and improving outcomes.