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Medical News & Perspectives
January 26, 2016

Clinicians Embrace 3D Printers to Solve Unique Clinical Challenges

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Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2016;315(4):333-335. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.17705

For a young child with epilepsy, the daily chore of taking pills can be difficult, but the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) August approval of a 3D-printed quick-dissolving version of levetiracetam may ease that burden.

The approval is the latest evidence that 3D printing is taking off in medicine as a way to overcome patient-specific challenges (Voelker R. JAMA. 2015:314[11]:1108). In addition to manufacturers, clinicians themselves are increasingly collaborating with designers and engineers to use 3D printers to tackle unique clinical challenges. The printers, which have become common at major medical centers, are being used to print 3D models of patient anatomy that can be used to practice difficult surgical cases (Michalski MH and Ross JS. JAMA. 2014;312[21]:2213-2214).

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