The pandemic Coronavirus(COVID-19) outbreak being contagious in nature has dragged everyone behind their doors. To protect oneself from the virus, people are washing their hands thoroughly after an interval of 20 minutes or so and are also maintaining social distancing, but there is also a need for face masks to protect oneself from the virus.
The beginning of the virus, when coronavirus impacted global economy and healthcare, the market was already swooped off the face masks and sanitizers, and now after 4 months into the pandemic, there are companies creating masks, government providing face masks to people who are underprivileged.
However, there is a lot going on in the market, in the healthcare sector, in the whole wide world to protect people and prevent this from spreading any further. Companies are chipping in to make and distribute face masks for free, but some companies are utilizing the innovative 3D printing technology to create shield masks that cover your whole face unlike those of made of clothes.
How 3D printing technology is providing aid during the Coronavirus outbreak
a. 3D Printed Face Shields
3D printing technology in the healthcare sector is proving to be of aid at such a difficult time. When face masks only protect your mouth and nose, the 3D printed shield mask covers the complete face even protecting your eyes and the complete face.
Many companies in Dubai, as per market research companies are providing 3D printed face shields that provide complete 180-degree face protection against Coronavirus (COVID-19). Also, the best advantage of using a face shield of 3D printed technology is that it prevents you from touching your face, which is the major part of being careful about.
b. Face shield on a 3D printer
Face shield will help us to leave our faces alone and let the face be in the quarantine. The best part is, the shield can be used multiple times, all you need to do is clean it/wipe it with disinfectants. Other companies there are also working on designing a prototype for doctors for converting snorkel mask into an emergency ventilator.
Most companies deployed with the 3D printers can produce face shields to overcome the challenging situation of the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), the doctors are in greater demand for protective pieces of equipment.
Also, many companies are taking a step forward with 3D printing technology and are working to produce a copper 3D printed face shield as copper reduces the risk of viral and bacterial contamination.
c. 3D Printed Emergency Ventilators
As for the ventilators, there is definitely a huge shortage of them in the healthcare sector. With the infected cases coming with a surge to the hospitals. The hospitals are also connecting with high authorities and government officials to get the required pieces of equipment and deal with the surge of COVID-19 patients. However, there is a definite shortage of ventilators to treat Coronairus patients and to overcome this shortage, a team of researchers at the Khalife University in Abu Dhabi are working to build a low-cost 3D print emergency ventilators.
As per the healthcare industry experts the role of digital transformation in health care industry is rapidly growing very fast, the university’s Healthcare Engineering Innovation Centre has already developed a prototype of the 3D print emergency ventilator and are setting it up a production plant to distribute it to the places where there is a demand for ventilators.
d. 3D printed Respirator Valves
Also, a company of 3D printer in Italy has designed and printed life-saving respirator valves for a hospital that was out of them there. The valve is connected to the Coronavirus patients to breathing machines kept in intensive care. As per reports of research, the valves are designed to be used for a maximum of eight hours at a time.
The valves are of 10cm (4in) length and 3cm in diameter, they are very thin holes and tubes that are smaller than 0.8m and are difficult to print as per the company’s CEO who’s been creating them. They also said that these valves are to be respected and kept away from any contamination and should be produced in a clinical way. These were first tested on a patient and when it worked, they were created in abundance to help the patients and hospital in need.
3D Printing Technology in Healthcare: A relief and aiding factor
3D printing technology in the healthcare sector is turning to be a saviour, not for the sector but for the people who are suffering from the Coronavirus and the doctors who are working day and night on the frontlines.
3D printing technology is gaining its pace in the market and as per custom market research, The UAE has a strong infrastructure to manufacture and export 3D-printed spare parts to the region. It has more 3D printers than the entire Middle East combined.
Also, the reports estimate that the market for 3D printing of spare parts in the UAE is expected to reach $600 million (Dh2.2 billion) by the end of 2023.
The good thing here isn’t about the technology taking a high level of status and standard in the market but the 3D printing technology being the one technology for the healthcare sector that is providing massive aid to fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
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