Baltimore, MD–It’s no secret that 3-D printing is changing the game for many industries—healthcare included. From printing pills to prosthetics, 3-D technology is reshaping what is possible; even turning kids into superheroes.

Imagine being a kid that has just had a major accident and you’ve lost your hand. Three years ago, you would’ve waited months to get your prosthetic (and it would have cost your parents thousands of dollars). Today, for about $50 in material costs, you can print out your prosthetic hand using a 3-D printer. Designs for hands are open-sourced, so you can browse online to find one you like. One organization—e-NABLE, a crowd-sourced innovation group—has developed superhero hands. You can choose from ‘The Cyborg Beast’, ‘The Talon Hand’, or ‘The Odysseus’, among others. You can even use modeling software, such as Fusion 360, to design your own prosthesis. And, if you don’t have a 3-D printer, you can join a Google + group, set up by e-NABLE to find a printer near you that has been volunteered for you to use.

 

Clearly 3-D printing has changed the prosthetic treatment process itself. But, it’s the creative work of a network of volunteers that has helped turn a tragedy into a positive stand-out moment for a child. 3-D printing of prostheses is also being used in developing countries, especially among victims of bombings in war zones. A remarkable example of this is the work of Mick Ebeling, a film and television producer with no prior background in ocular technology, who was moved by a victim’s story and worked with Intel to bring 3-D printing resources to South Sudan.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for shaping the company’s perspective on the next era of healthcare marketing. Through thought leadership, strategic innovation workshops and new products and capabilities, Leigh focuses on identifying marketing approaches that will fuel that new era and generate significant growth for clients. Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for over 17 years. She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she had several leadership roles at one of our agencies, GSW. There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business. Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes. A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice, Leigh also was recognized as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.