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3D Printing Will Bring Big Medical Advances

The word revolutionary is not too strong for describing how 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, will advance health care. The technology is expected to enable the printing of organs and tissues based on recipients’ cells and increase customization of medical tools and devices.

3D Printed Organs

Organ transplant recipients must control tissue rejection with lifelong medication regimens. Additionally, the acquisition of suitable organs requires long waits. Additive manufacturing using materials generated from a recipient’s cells solves these problems. The base cell material creates a genetic match that eliminates tissue rejection. The ability to make an organ also removes waiting for a suitable donor.

An experiment at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine has proven the viability of organ printing. A printer made the tissue for a new bladder from a patient’s blood cells. The medical scientists have also replicated heart valves and livers.

Prosthetic Manufacturing

People in need of prosthetics often have long wait times for custom-fitted pieces. With 3D printing, prosthetics manufacturing can become widely distributed, which speeds their availability at the point of care. Costs could be reduced as well.

Customized Surgical Assistive Devices

From dental drill guides to inhalers, 3D printing allows for clinicians to make custom devices quickly. Sometimes only a single day is needed to fabricate a customized piece because 3D printing cuts prototype development time by 80 to 90 percent.

Research fellow Dr. Young Joon Seol works on a project to print experimental muscle tissue for reconstructive surgery. Credit: Army Medicine

Medical Supply Production

Demand for long cotton swabs for collecting samples for coronavirus tests has exploded due to the pandemic. The medical startup company OPT Industries had met demand with 3D printed swabs that also collect and release fluids better than their cotton counterparts. The company’s 3D printers produce swabs that are actually woven lattices of extremely thin fibers. With swab production now at 80,000 swabs a day, the company has helped to ease swab supply shortages. Automated swab printing also allows the company to produce the swabs at a competitive price.

In what ways do you think 3D printing could improve patient care and outcomes?

ABOUT Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine

The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) is recognized as an international leader in translating scientific discovery into clinical therapies. Physicians and scientists at WFIRM were the first in the world to engineer laboratory-grown organs that were successfully implanted into humans. Today, this interdisciplinary team that numbers about 400 is working to engineer more than 40 different replacement tissues and organs, and to develop healing cell therapies – all with the goal to cure, rather than merely treat, disease.

A number of the basic principles of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine were first developed at the institute. WFIRM researchers have successfully engineered replacement tissues and organs in all four categories – flat structures, tubular tissues, hollow organs and solid organs – and 15 different applications of cell/tissue therapy technologies, such as skin, urethras, cartilage, bladders, muscle, kidney, and vaginal organs, have been successfully used in human patients.

The institute, which is part of Wake Forest School of Medicine, is located in the Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem, NC.

ABOUT OPT Industries

Spun off from the MIT Media Lab, OPT Industries was founded with the goal of pushing the design and production limitations of digital manufacturing. Drawing inspiration from nature and mass manufacturing, we provide novel materials for both aesthetic use and engineered applications.

We build automated manufacturing systems that rapidly assemble mechanical metamaterials at production scale. Our manufacturing technology provides bespoke material solutions to various industries using the proprietary polymers that we have developed in-house. Each formulation is thoroughly tuned, validated and tested for its intended product application. Our generative software platform allows us to work with our clients to quickly optimize, customize, and manufacture a large range of product iterations that are instantly ready for market.

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Beyond Coronavirus Vaccine – mRNA Cancer Treatment

The Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccines represent the first two vaccines based on mRNA technology approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Although people may perceive mRNA technology as new, medical researchers have been exploring it as the next step in vaccine and cancer treatment development since the 1990s. In addition to the potential of mRNA to produce vaccines for vexing diseases, like Ebola or HIV, researchers also believe in its potential for cancer treatments. In the same way that mRNA can teach the human body to attack a virus, it could train the immune system to attack cancer tumor cells.

How Does An mRNA Vaccine Work?

DNA within cells builds messengers, known as mRNA, that trigger the production of proteins necessary for a cell’s function. An mRNA vaccine creates the message that the body should create a protein specific to the targeted pathogen. In the case of coronavirus, an mRNA vaccine informs the immune system about a protein that the virus needs. This enables an immune response that attacks the protein and therefore eliminates the virus’s ability to function within the body.

Potential Cancer Therapies

BioNTech and Moderna have cancer research programs as well. In July 2020, BioNTech entered a collaboration with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to study a melanoma treatment based on the experimental BNT111 FixVac mRNA vaccine. BNT111 is designed to trigger anti-tumor responses using four antigens.

COVID-19 Vaccine Vial Prop – mRNA. Credit: Spencerbdavis

As for Moderna, researchers at that pharmaceutical company want to create custom cancer vaccines. The research relies on sequencing mutations found in an individual’s cancer cells. A custom mRNA vaccine would then be tailored to those mutations and theoretically result in the patient’s immune system attacking the cancer.

Will the development of revolutionary cancer treatments be the silver lining in the coronavirus pandemic?

ABOUT Moderna

Every cell in the body uses mRNA to provide real-time instructions to make the proteins necessary to drive all aspects of biology, including in human health and disease.

Given its essential role, we believe mRNA could be used to create a new category of medicines with significant potential to improve the lives of patients.

We are pioneering a new class of medicines made of messenger RNA, or mRNA. The potential implications of using mRNA as a drug are significant and far-reaching and could meaningfully improve how medicines are discovered, developed and manufactured.

Since our founding in 2010, we have worked to build the industry’s leading mRNA technology platform, the infrastructure to accelerate drug discovery and early development, a rapidly expanding pipeline, and a world-class team. Our pipeline includes development candidates for mRNA-based vaccines and therapies spanning several therapeutic areas, and we have multiple clinical trials underway with other development candidates progressing toward the clinic. In addition, we have numerous discovery programs advancing toward development.

ABOUT Pfizer

Starting with Charles Pfizer inventing an almond-flavored antiparasite medicine in 1849, our people have always been innovators & trailblazers, committed to finding the next cure.

Pfizer is dedicated to improving your health and wellness by developing medicines and providing health tips and resources to help you manage a healthy lifestyle. Explore our health and wellness resources

At Pfizer our biotechnology is our foundation. With 25,000 clinical researchers testing every day, pharmaceutical development and innovation are our focus.

Our purpose is grounded in our commitment to fund programs that provide public benefit, advance medical care and improve patient outcomes. Our belief is that all people deserve to live healthy lives. This drives our desire to provide access to medicines that are safe, effective, and affordable.


BioNTech was founded in 2008 on the understanding that every cancer patient’s tumor is unique and therefore each patient’s treatment should be individualized. To translate this idea into reality, we have combined ground-breaking research with cutting-edge technologies to develop pioneering therapeutics for cancer and beyond.

As we prove the value of our approach in the clinic, we will continue to build the partnerships, manufacturing and team required to bring individualized treatments to patients worldwide. From our roots in Mainz, Germany, we are driven to become the leading global biotechnology company for individualized cancer medicine.

ABOUT The Food And Drug Administration

The Food and Drug Administration is the oldest comprehensive consumer protection agency in the U. S. federal government. Since 1848 the federal government has used chemical analysis to monitor the safety of agricultural products — a responsibility inherited by the Department of Agriculture in 1862 and later by the FDA.

Although it was not known by its present name until 1930, FDA’s modern regulatory functions began with the passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drugs Act, a law a quarter-century in the making, that prohibited interstate commerce in adulterated and misbranded food and drugs.  Harvey Washington Wiley, Chief Chemist of the USDA Bureau of Chemistry, had been the driving force behind this law and headed its enforcement in the early years, providing basic elements of protection that consumers had never known before that time.

Since then, the FDA has changed along with social, economic, political and legal changes in the United States. Examining the history of these changes illuminates the evolving role that FDA has played in promoting public health and offers lessons to consider as we evaluate current regulatory challenges.

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Explosive Growth Expected For AI-Enabled Medical Imaging Diagnostics

Artificial intelligence has proven its usefulness for accurately interpreting medical scans. The systems can analyze medical images in minute detail, draw upon vast quantities of diagnostic data, and supplement the work of human pathologists. Because these capabilities will revolutionize diagnostics, IDTechEX predicts that the global market for AI medical imaging diagnostics will expand by 10,000 percent by 2040.

Breast Cancer Diagnostics

Clinicians rely on medical imaging to detect and treat breast cancer. An AI developed by Google called LYNA has shown 99 percent accuracy in finding metastatic breast cancer tumors. Another breakthrough has emerged from researchers in Berlin, Germany, and Oslo, Norway. Their tissue-section analysis system uses AI to examine images pixel by pixel. To help pathologists check the images, the AI highlights the exact areas within the image used to reach a diagnosis.

MRI Scanner at Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Jaipur. Credit: GeorgeWilliams21

Pathology Software Systems

The software company Proscia located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has developed an imaging workflow for pathologists. The software processes digital medical images and applies AI to detect patterns that a pathologist should review.

Although the software from Proscia remains experimental, medical AI from Ibex Medical Analytics is already in use in hospitals and laboratories around the world. Ibex’s AI replicates the methods used by pathologists to study medical images. The results are fast and highly accurate cancer diagnoses that provide pathologists with rapid second opinions. The Ibex AI also can catch issues that pathologists miss.

Axial MRI FLAIR image showing abnormal hyperintense signal in the mesial dorsal thalami indicative of Wernicke Encephalopathy. Credit: Jto410

In general, pathology is often a collaborative exercise. Traditionally, pathologists have consulted with each other when images appear ambiguous. An AI system makes an expert analysis readily available.

How do you imagine AI can improve medical diagnostics?


Our globally cited analysts are mostly PhD-educated subject matter experts. Crucially, our analyst team also includes successful experienced business leaders. We conduct primary research through interviews, site visits and events across the World, getting the insight first. New technologies tend to be hyped. We focus on assessing the needs of end-users to identify problems where new technologies can add value.

Based on extensive research, we provide a clear view of the real situation in complex subject matters, regardless of the popular conception. IDTechEx hosts the World’s largest events on some of the topics we cover, in addition to daily web journals. This has helped to create a significant contact base in the topics we cover, allowing us to connect you with customers.

ABOUT Proscia

For 150 years, cancer diagnosis has been limited to the subjective interpretation of what the human eye could see under a microscope. To change the way we diagnose and research cancer, we need new tools — computational applications that leverage AI and machine learning — to show us the information hidden in every tissue sample.

That’s why we started Proscia. Our mission is to perfect cancer diagnosis with intelligent software that changes the way the world practices pathology. We’re building tools for the mind that are redefining pathology and giving pathologists better ways to fight cancer today.

ABOUT Ibex Medical Analytics

Ibex Medical Analytics is the pioneer in AI-powered cancer diagnostics in pathology. We are a multidisciplinary team of entrepreneurs, data scientists, software engineers and medical experts, working together to realize our vision: Transforming cancer diagnostics with AI and improving patient care.

Pathologists are challenged to provide accurate and timely analysis as the number of tests increases every year. Ibex uses artificial intelligence (AI) to develop clinical-grade solutions that help detect cancer as accurately as a human pathologist.

Our Galen Platform uses algorithms to analyze images, detect and grade cancer in biopsies and point to other findings with high clinical importance, helping pathologists reduce diagnostic error rates. and enable a more efficient workflow.

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Remote Patient Monitoring Improves Care For Chronically Sick

Clinicians typically only see patients for a few minutes. They must make decisions based on the brief snapshot of patient vitals measured at the time of interaction. Technology that enables remote patient monitoring (RPM) places much information in the hands of clinicians. Devices that collect patient data either in hospital beds or at home, provide medical workers with a big picture of what is happening with people’s bodies. When monitoring people from their homes, clinicians gain the opportunity to provide preventative care that greatly reduces doctor visits and hospitalizations.

Integration With Wearable Tech

RPM devices work by applying a wearable device to patients that then transmits data to clinicians by the internet. For example, the portability of the Philips Medical Tablet allows clinicians to manage more patients. The tablet only needs a wi-fi connection to send information to a central monitoring system where clinicians can attend to emerging problems remotely.

A patient carries a holter monitor. Credit: Misscurry

Similarly, the Dozee Pro device that has recently completed clinical trials in India helps clinicians follow patients in-home care settings. The device alerts medical workers to harmful changes in heart function, respiratory rate, and blood pressure so that they can take quick action before a problem becomes a medical crisis.

Medicare Supports RPM

In the United States, Medicare has approved payments for users of RPM. The advantages of RPM have become clear for serving an elderly population managing chronic conditions, like heart disease and diabetes. Clinicians, who had the ability to catch alarming changes in patient vitals early, were able to reduce patients’ emergency room visits by 92 percent. Readmission rates to hospitals fell by 40 percent when RPM was used post-discharge.

Dr. Juan Manuel Romero, a cardiologist at a hospital in Ciudad Obregon in Sonora, Mexico, engages in a pre-op consultation with Alma Guadalupe Xoletxilva and her doctor, Edgar Cuevas, who are 400 miles away in La Paz, Baja California. Credit: Intel Free Press

How would access to continuous physiological data change your ability to make timely care decisions? Comment with how you would like to use RPM for your patients.


Recognising the dire need for better preventive care, our founder Mudit set out to bridge the gap in healthcare of making actionable data available for predictive health alerts. He left his career as a race car driver and teamed up with Gaurav to get this dream on the fast track.

After being tested and proven to be 98.4% as accurate as medical-grade devices, the first Dozee device was sold in 2019. All through 2020, Dozee became a crucial part of Covid wards across India, helping doctors and nurses monitor their critical patients constantly and remotely.

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