3D Printed Medicine

There have been amazing medical advancements as a result of 3D printing, including the possibility of 3D printing medicine and a 3D printed heart. In a recent story, however, there is a great example of how 3D printing can be put to good use in the medical field right now. Non-profit Field Ready is currently working on the ground in Haiti with medical workers to create designs for 3D printing medical supplies in order to make tools readily available.

Haiti in need

Although the devastating earthquake hit Haiti five years ago, the recovery process has been laborious. According to World Bank estimates, well over half the population, as much as 59%, of Haitians live below the poverty line. This means that they survive on $2.44 or less per day. Additionally, 24% live on an income of just $1.24 or less per day. Much of the population lives without proper shelter, water, or health care.

About Field Ready

Field Ready has a goal of changing all of this with the help of modern technology. In particular, the organization believes that 3D printing has the power to give aid workers the flexibility they need to treat patients properly.

Why choose 3D printing?

The more widespread 3D printing comes, the more non-profit organizations are testing it out in order to discover what type of alternative applications it may have.  As the cost of 3D printing decreases, it becomes more and more possible for an organization like Field Ready to purchase enough machines to really start to tackle the problem. Improved technologies, such as additional printing materials, will also help Field Ready craft the tools that it needs. Currently, one of the initiatives that Field Ready is working on is recycling existing ABS plastic in order to make new filament in the field.

Types of medical supplies

One of the first supplies that Field Ready will print is an umbilical chord clamp. Because it can be very difficult to get proper medical tools in rural areas of Haiti, midwives often use whatever is available to them to tie off the umbilical chord. This can include common household items like dirty shoe laces. A simple hygienic tool could make the birthing process much safer for the newborn.


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