Technology is fulfilling its promise of making life as easy as possible for humankind — now more than ever. One proof of that is the utilization of 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing. Even though the 3D printer was invented in 1984, nearly 30 years ago, it was only highlighted and showcased by technology websites in the recent years — mostly focusing on 3D products on fashion and humanitarian projects. 3D printing is not the only promising advancement though. There is also a big buzz concerning wearable tech. That’s just the start. We’re not even talking about the advancements in mobile technology yet — which, I tell you, is quite a handful.
These technologies have, above everything else, been proven to be most useful in the medical field. Nothing is wasted. Researchers and scientists have been testing technological advancements in dental care, physical mobility and prosthetics, and researches on possible 3D organ transplants. With the help of technology, possibilities in the medical field are just abundant. Below is just a taste of how technology has once again upped the ante on healthcare.
3D Dental care
We’ve been trained to hold a toothbrush while brushing our teeth. Alterations to the toothbrush have always been with the efficiency of the bristles. Over time, the handle has also evolved into easy-grip handles, obviously for the convenience of the user. Still, it usually takes 2–3 minutes. Just recently though, researchers have found a way to hasten the teeth’s cleaning process into a matter of 6 seconds. Yep, in the form of 3D printed toothbrushes that look like mouthguards. Isn’t this just innovative? Hopefully, from Washington DC dentists to Los Angeles dentists recommend this kind of improvement in dental care sooner rather than later.
Image taken from Mashable.com
Live streaming of surgeries
Google Glass is just one of the wearable techs that create buzz in the world of mobile technology. To explain this in the most basic manner, Glass is like your smartphone turned into an eyewear. The first people to use this are mostly dubbed as rude or douchy by the non-Glass wearing public. Doctors, though, have taken a better use for it. This one surgeon from Ohio, for example, used Google Glass for a live streaming to his colleagues while he performed a knee surgery. This can be a start of demonstrating live surgeries to selected people online.
Image taken from Mashable.com
Development of mobile health apps
Now, we all know how popular mobile apps have become to the public. Nearly everybody in the country already owns a smartphone. I bet my imaginary pet duck that those smartphones have apps in them. You see, mobile apps are addictive, especially when they’re free. Mobile health apps are another project of health researchers to help lessen the burden of medical patients. Some of them are free, while some can be downloaded at an affordable price.
Infographic taken from mHealthWatch.com
This is yet another miracle made possible by 3D printing technology. The girl on the photo, Emma, originally had immobile hands caused by Arthrogryposis. Her doctors found a way to make an exoskeleton that will help her move her arms. The parts were made through a 3D printer.
Image taken from Stratasys.com
3D printed human tissue
Speaking of a 3D printer, scientists have also developed one that can manufacture human tissue. This may come later rather than sooner, but scientists speculate that they can manufacture organs such as a liver or a kidney through this 3D printer. For now, scientists can only produce prototypes (such as the photo below). It may take two decades or more before they can produce an organ ready for transplant. At least the idea and the technology is already here. They will just have to work on it little by little.
Image taken from Engineering.com