3D printing and EMRs: Will they connect soon?
The day cosmetic surgeons can print molds directly from their EHR software may not be too far ahead of us. Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, has already launched a master’s program teaching the core principals of bioprinting; they’re focusing on using 3D printers to grow human tissue. In the same study, Healthcare IT News also mentions the increased savings resulting from the use of 3D printers in healthcare practices.
The ways 3D printers may offer medical advantages
The increasing technological capabilities remind us that we are living in an era where the seemingly impossible becomes just the opposite in relatively short periods of time. As the use of 3D printing becomes more prevalent in common situations over the coming years, the uses for such technology will encompass more than we can imagine. Not only will we be able to grow human tissue from such devices, but we may be able to use 3D printing for the construction of molds, vaccines, and possibly even medications. While it may seem far fetched, cell phones were barely a reality in the late 1980s and now we often see people with more than one.
Other uses for this technology can be printing actual medical devices such as endoscopes, tubing, adhesives, and more. It’s quite possible that this technology will be used for printing creams, gels, and other healthcare related substances. The image above showing a human heart in the process of printing may not be too far off the grid either.
Printing from your EMR
Although it’s not quite there yet, let’s not rule out the option of printing directly from your EHR in the near future. With the click-of-a-button, everything mentioned in this article and more may eventually become a reality as the printing is done right in front of our eyes.