In the last year alone, we have seen numerous use cases of 3D printing within the medical field. I am not talking about just 3D bioprinting. In fact some of the more interesting uses of the technology has been the printing of anatomically precise models from within a patient’s body. These models are then used by surgeons to get a more accurate picture as well as understanding, of the actual human parts which they will be working to repair.
One company that knows quite a bit about this sort of technology is 3D Medical, an Australian based medical firm that mainly works towards bringing 3D printing technologies to Australian hospital. This week they announced that they will be acquired by Safety Medical for $100,000 in cash as well as an equity stake. 3D Medical, a privately held company, has two main activities. They want to bring 3D printing as well as holographic projection technology to Australian medical professionals. Currently 3D printing is used in many different ways in the medical world; the most common is the scanning and printing of fractured bones in patients, allowing surgeons to practice complex surgeries on 3D-printed models before going to the operating table. There’s also been a few attempts at 3d-printing prostheses from scanned body parts which have been installed in patients.
The recently acquired company also works on holographic technologies for the medical industry. The holograms are mostly used to help students in different medical fields study in three dimensions. It’s used in many different ways. Holograms can be expanded to focus on small areas of the body; lecturers claim that using technology to teach helps them keep the attention of their students; also, while some body parts are easy to picture, other medical concepts can be more difficult to illustrate, and holograms have helped lecturers create images of such concepts.
Safety Medical is also an Australian company working in the world of safety medical products and exploration and evaluation. Their products include the SecureTouch safety syringe, a syringe that allows the needle to retract inside a plastic sleeve, preventing multiple uses. This acquisition will allow for the expansion what 3D Medical Limited was working on, while giving Safety Medical an important inroads into an expanding areas within the medical field.
It will be interesting to see if additional consolidation occurs within the medical field around such technologies as 3D printing. Offer up your opinion on this story and the 3D medical field in general, at the Safety Medical forum thread on 3DPB.com
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