Market scenario

3D printing and robotics in the medical industry

| Author / Editor: Ahlam Rais / Ahlam Rais

America is the number one market for global medical robotics as the country holds over 40 % of the total market.
America is the number one market for global medical robotics as the country holds over 40 % of the total market. (Source: Deposit Photos)

The medical sector is constantly working with new age technologies such as additive manufacturing aka 3D printing and robotics for finding customised solutions and treating patients with complex cases.

The global 3D printing market in the medical and automotive industry is expected to grow in the future due to rapid urbanisation; increasing number of 3D printer manufacturers; growing sales of 3D inkjet printheads; increasing number of FDA approved medical products and rising disposable income, according to a report by market research firm, Research and Markets.

In the medical sector, the current usage of contemporary technologies and processes such as additive manufacturing or 3D printing has witnessed a tremendous increase. Additive manufacturing has enabled doctors to come up with unique solutions in order to solve complicated cases that were risky or expensive.

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Right from creating prototypes of body parts to fully functional units that can be placed within a patient’s body, additive manufacturing has come a long way. At this year’s International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), medical is one of the industry focus and the adoption of contemporary global manufacturing technologies and processes such as micro-manufacturing and additive manufacturing will be highlight of this segment.

Through additive manufacturing, medical experts can now create a patient specific implant (PSI) via medical-specific CAD tools for complex cases. For instance, the UK-based engineering company Renishaw worked together with medical designers to treat a dog suffering from a tumour that was located on the left side of his upper jaw.

The situation required the installation of an extremely complex in geometry implant after the tumour was removed. The solution came in the form of a customised 3D printed titanium implant to support a dog’s bone structure. Similarly, many other 3D printed body parts such as knee caps, skull, bones, etc. are being used in the medical field for quick and greater results.

Medical robotics

Apart from additive manufacturing, robotics is also another segment that is strongly making its presence in the medical field. Some of the major players in this segment include KUKA Robotics, Stryker Corporation, Medtech, Smith & Nephew and many more. As per a recent market report by Market Research Future, the global medical robotics market is segmented on the basis of products into medical robotic systems, rehabilitation services, hospitals and pharmacies, accessories and others.

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Ranking of global medical robots

The report positions America as the number one market for global medical robotics as the country holds over 40 % of total market owing to increasing demand for robot-assisted surgeries, well developed healthcare infrastructure and high healthcare expenditure. Other factors that have contributed to this growth include the increasing need of automation and advanced devices.

On second position is Europe which is then followed by the Asia Pacific region. The Asia Pacific region is expected to bring in huge business prospects owing to the development of the market and continuously improving healthcare infrastructure.

The implementation of technology in the medical line has brought to the fore some stunning results and the sector is keen to incorporate further technologies and robots in order to enhance its results and go one level up in the current medical set up.

Maybe a robot will also be in charge of your healthcare the next time you visit your doctor! Let’s wait and watch!

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