In recent decades, the medical field has expanded to include the use of 3D printing, otherwise known as additive manufacturing, when diagnosing and treating patients. In the early 1990s, scientists at MIT used computer-aided design (CAD) software to engage in 3D printing, a process referred to as 3DP. When they granted licenses to various companies, the concept of 3D printing was able to grow and revolutionize a wide range of disciplines, from air and space technology to medicine.
The potential medical applications for 3D printing are endless, especially as the technology continues to evolve and improve. For example, today the technology can be used to fabricate tissues and organs, create personal prosthetics and implants, and enhance pharmaceutical research. Instead of having to nervously wait to see if your loved one will receive a transplant, 3D printing has the future potential of constructing an organ from the patient’s own tissue. Not only will this process solve the supply-and-demand issue with regards to organ transplants, it will also greatly reduce the risk of organ rejection.
Although something as revolutionary as 3D printing may seem like it should cost a fortune, studies show that these solutions are often extremely cost-effective. This is the case because of the technology employed. Since the process is additive, the costs of waste and extraction are avoided, allowing for the medicinal treatments to be relatively cheap. However, the advancements in 3D printing technology also give rise to a number of ethical questions as doctors toe the line between treatment and enhancement. Fabricating organs to save lives is one thing, but creating organs and appendages with super capabilities could have unthinkable consequences.
If you believe that this new technology was improperly used in your medical treatment or have concerns about its future use, rest assured that the personal injury attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. are well-versed on the topic and are here to help you.