Report: Healthcare 3D printing market ready to explode

Primed by the surging use of external wearable devices for amputees and patients with auditory loss and dental problems, the worldwide market for healthcare 3D printing will grow at a 26.2% compound annual growth rate to reach $2.3 billion by 2020, according to a new report from Allied Market Research.

The market is being driven primarily by several technological breakthroughs, such as multimaterial, full-color 3D printers that are solar-powered and portable, the company said. Public and private organizations have also been investing in R&D activities, while additional growth is expected from the increasing set of available and biocompatible materials and the ability of 3D printing to provide customized and personalized medical devices, according to Allied Market Research.

Greater use of 3D printing technology in hospitals would reduce the duration of surgery, anesthesia exposure, and operative risks; aid in effective presurgical planning; and improve surgical practice, according to Allied Market Research. 3D-printed organs have also provided alternative methods for animal testing, assisting the market growth by shortening the time span for clinical trials and reducing cost and risks associated with testing new drugs, the company said.

The firm noted, however, that it expects market growth to be impeded by the high cost associated with advanced 3D printers, the lack of structured regulatory frameworks and reimbursement policies, and copyright and patent issues.

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