Healthcare business is set to transform in the near future thanks to the growth of 3-D printing. The additive manufacturing technology has made leaps and bounds in a number of different industries, but may have its best applications yet when working to help save lives. The near future only brings more potential for improving the quality of life for many patients.

Changing perception of healthcare materials
According to HIT Consultant, one large leap in the near future will be a new perspective of prosthetics and similar equipment. New prosthetic limbs will be made to perfectly adhere to a patient's needs. That means that the wearer will likely feel much more comfortable, while wearing the equipment will also reduce the risks of an infection or another complication. Operation time and expenses will be reduced as well, cutting down the financial burdens of users. In the long term, it's hoped that these products will lead to joints lasting longer and becoming more comfortable.

With this ease will also come a new perception of 3-D printed parts. Because their designs can be completely different than traditional versions, new prosthetics can be worn in entirely new ways.  Some users are even matching their artificial limbs to outfits, giving them an entirely new view of their options.

Lives saved with ease
The news source also noted that new 3-D printed parts have even saved patients' lives, a trend only expected to increase in coming years. In the U.K. in 2011, a man who had half of his pelvis removed because of bone cancer had a new pelvis made with a 3-D printer. More recently, about 75 percent of a man's skull was replaced by a 3-D implant in the U.S., with specific attachments that allowed for natural cell growth.

Such expansion is par for the course in the industry. As such, the prowess of the industry will only grow. According to Today's Medical Developments, the additive manufacturing market is expected to double by 2017, reaching a new total worth of $3.5 billion. Healthcare applications are noted to be one of the leading aspects guiding market development.

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