Medical device companies have for many years used 3D printing to create innovative products such as custom patient-matched devices and individualized anatomical models for surgical planning. Typically, these activities have occurred within traditional manufacturing facilities. Over the past two years, however, supply chain disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has created medical device shortages that have amplified the use of 3D printing technologies at the point of care. Indeed, healthcare providers have collaborated with 3D printing companies to produce face shields, face mask holders, nasopharyngeal swabs, and ventilator parts within healthcare facilities. As 3D printing technologies improve and healthcare facilities innovate in the face of economic opportunities and pandemic-related challenges, the industry can expect increasing use of 3D printers within the healthcare setting. In turn, FDA is taking notice and has recently issued a paper to facilitate discussion about potential approaches to regulating 3D printed devices at the point of care.
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