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How has 3D Printing in Healthcare become a Prescription for the Future?

3D printing in Healthcare was determined when a five-month-old girl from Karnataka was diagnosed with craniosynostosis. The problem is described as two bones of her skull were fused together that hinder the development of her brain.

To solve this, a team of doctors at Sakra World Hospital in Bengaluru performed the “skull expansion” surgery separating the bones in the deformed skull. Post-Operation, the doctors made use of a helmet for hindering the growth in the particular direction. Usually, such helmets are made in the U.S. that costs about 1.5 – 2 lakhs but the Bengaluru-based company did the miracle by making it for just ₹ 20,000.

Ostedo3d Initiative: 3D printing in the healthcare industry

The startup, Ostedo3d has customized the helmet for this infant using 3D printing technology. Today, they design and fabricate 3D-printed pre-surgery models for dentistry, neurosurgeries, and maxillofacial surgeries. In addition to it, they have assisted doctors in over 350 cases across India. 3D printing allows doctors to touch it, feel it, and know exactly where the problem lies which results in increased accuracy during surgeries.

The team also developed a proprietary cloud-based platform for the doctor to upload CT scans and MRI records of patients. In a few minutes, it presents them with a three-dimensional image of patient’s anatomy.

How does it work?

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Osteo3d’s custom-made 3D printed surgical guide’ enables surgeons to achieve a greater level of precision. It fits like a glove on the part of the body which the doctor’s need to cut. There are lines that guide doctor about where to make the incision and regarding biocompatible materials. The startup also fabricated the customized 3D printed cranial flaps for recognizing a particular defect in the skull.

Gaining Recognition by the Government

The startup has so far built a network of 120 doctors who ultimately rely on startup services. According to doctors, Osteo3d is entirely inclined towards clinical practices, as it has crossed 350-plus cases. Based on the successful completion of cases, it had received around ₹ 50 lakhs from the Indian Government’s Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Control in February 2015. In addition to it, the Karnataka government also granted ₹40 lakhs to Osteo3d under its idea-to-proof-of-concept fund for biotech startups.

Though 3D printing technology is well established, and it has proven successful in healthcare, its adoption is not widespread. This is because of the lack of awareness among doctors and patients. Doctors are spreading the impact and benefits of the concept, and thus, 3D printing in healthcare undoubtedly remain prescription for the future.

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