3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is regarded as the next industrial revolution in manufacturing, with high potential to provide cost-effective methods to achieve complex and customized medical parts and components, such as tissues, organs, orthopedic and cranial implants, dental prosthetics, and others. The demand for customized additive manufacturing is high as customized structures as more comfortable for patients. Moreover, patent expiration will lead to the end of monopolistic control of some companies over the market, making additive manufacturing products more competitive in the market, which will improve the quality of the product. These factors have helped the market grow.
However, the cost of additive manufacturing is still high which leads to affordability issues, especially in developing and underdeveloped countries. Also, there is a lack of skilled professionals to operate these machineries. These factors have impeded market growth.
Key Market Trends
Polymers are Expected to Register a High Growth
Polymers and their composites are one of the most widely used additive manufacturing materials due to the vast potential for various applications in the healthcare. Polymer-based additive manufacturing has been used for decades in creating prosthetic limb parts as well as medical instruments. These polymers are also used to make plasters specifically for each patient that not only hold the structure to ensure healing but are also comfortable as they can be customized for each patient. This is done through the use of a machine that combines additive manufacturing with 3D scanning procedures capable of scanning a patient’s limb and printing custom plasters in an incredibly short time.
Moreover, polymers are also used in crafting hearing aids, preparing models that can aid in diagnosis and preoperative planning and preparing models of organs or specific body parts that can be developed for practice purposes to demonstrate various sensitive surgical procedures such as osteotomies.
According to WHO 2019 report on "Deafness and hearing loss", There were 466 million people worldwide with hearing disability, and this number is expected to increase to over 900 million by 2050. Hence, as the number of cases of hearing disability increases the market is expected to increase in the future.
North America is Expected to Dominate the Healthcare 3D Printing Market
United States and Canada are one of the largest markets for the North America region. Both countries spend huge amount towards its healthcare. With United States being one of the nations with high expenditure in healthcare (17.9% of GDP as per OECD). In the United States, the number of newborn babies with deafness or hearing problem was nearly 2500 in 2005. This number was found to have increased to more than 6300 in 2016. Moreover, according to the Population Reference Bureau of the United States, the number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060. As the older population is more prone to hearing loss, the demand for hearing aid devices that are manufactured using Healthcare 3D Printing is expected to increase.
Majority of the healthcare-related 3D Printing structures are being manufactured by the global established key players. Market leaders with more funds for research and better distribution system have established their position in the market. Moreover, Asia-pacific is witnessing an emergence of some small players due to the rise of awareness. This has also helped the market grow.
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