5 key levers for next-gen medical technology

Five photos of next-gen medical devices and consultation with Kumovis expert
Whether it's expertise, the 3D printer, or an application-specific workflow, Kumovis aims for improved patient care
Can 3D printing help medtech overcome barriers when manufacturing medical devices?

It is not only MDR that is still causing concern in medtech, but also challenges such as increasing price pressure and crisis-related supply chain issues. Fortunately, there are critical levers that can already be used for giving next-gen medical technologies decisive advantages.

Transforming manufacturing plays a major role in the future-proof development of medical device companies alongside the innovation strategies of the healthcare sector. This is probably why the U.S. Food & Drug Administration recently initiated a public discussion about the 3D printing of medical products at the point of care.

Next-gen medtech to overcome barriers

The great potential that additive manufacturing holds for overcoming long-standing barriers can be illustrated by five key levers for the next generation of medical devices:

  1.  Medical device customization

    Medical device customization may be done in consultation with a Kumovis expert
    Consultation with a Kumovis expert should be done before developing and manufacturing new individualized medical devices

    In many places, the industry lacks ways to tailor medical devices to the individual’s needs and at the same time produce them economically. A new holistic approach is needed.

    To benefit physicians and patients alike, it takes 3D printing hardware and workflows designed for customization purposes, as well as regulatory frameworks. Be it at a production facility or hospital, the combination of the three is key.

  2. Saving costs

    Woman taking medical product out of Kumovis R1 3D printer
    Kumovis R1 is the basis for your cost savings

    What’s more, patient-specific treatment is accessible to not as many patients as it could be. This is partly because manufacturing individualized medical products using conventional processes is cost-intensive.

    At Kumovis, automated and application-specific workflows include an economically feasible 3D printing process and form the basis for the cost-saving production of both individual and series products. With the resulting reduction in production costs and time, medical device manufacturers and hospitals also save on overall application costs. Kumovis enables them to offer, among other things, individualized treatments to even more people, thereby improving both patient care and outcomes.

  3. Compliance is key

    Kumovis R1 3D printers can produce medical implants for cranioplasty
    It takes regulatory guidance to 3D print patient-specific implants

    Another lever for next-gen medical technology is anticipatory regulatory inclusion and accompanying processes in particular. But the prospect of creating the compliance documents needed often acts as a brake on innovation.

    At some point, the resources for developing the conditions to be able to meet regulatory requirements may be lacking. Kumovis helps medical device companies and hospitals drive innovation by providing not only industry-specific 3D printing hardware and medical-grade materials, but also validated processes and regulatory data.

  4. Balance benefits and effort

    Surgical instrument and spinal trial implant
    Processing colored polymers (e.g. for trial implants) is advantageous and made possible with Kumovis 3D printing

    As price pressure rises in the medical industry, the costs and additional features of a product must be balanced.

    Using Kumovis technologies and PPSU, for example, allows for 3D printing medical devices such as spinal trial cages in a cost-efficient way. With combinations like this, manufacturers can drive new opportunities in neurosurgery. The material portfolio that is available for manufacturing with the Kumovis R1 open filament 3D printer also includes polymers like PEEK, PEKK and PLLA.

  5. Interdisciplinary expertise

    Cranial implant featuring 3D printed Kumovis Improved Interface
    Expertise is needed in various fields to create surface functionalizations

    And last but not least, the competence in medical and polymer technology as well as process engineering and an industry-specific partner network are worth mentioning, for these are important prerequisites for the complex medical products of the next generation.

    As with any new solution or product feature, data-based analysis and resulting best practices are required to tap the full potential for users. Kumovis provides the medical community with the expertise needed to collaborate in creating standout patient benefits. Unique surface functionalization is just one result of such application-oriented research and development efforts.

New opportunities

From individualized implant manufacturing to new opportunities for spinal fusion surgery, there are many ways to use 3D printing for improving patient care. It is an obvious choice for the healthcare sector to adopt these more efficient solutions to overcome technological and economic barriers and further drive medical progress.

3D printed medical devices are already ramping up healthcare while saving costs. Let’s get in touch and take medical 3D printing to the next level together.