Personalised devices are tailored in mechanical, user and biological properties to meet the needs of individual people; they are not mass-produced.
They are important because:
Personalised implants improve the accuracy and predictability of complex surgical procedures. This allows healthcare providers to avoid costly mistakes, avoid variation and to get it right first time. This leads to reduced recovery times, improved function and reduced risk of infection.
Personalised enablement devices (such as assistive technology, prosthetics, orthotics, etc) that are tailored in function and aesthetics, move people towards self-management of their condition. This is required in the face of increasingly complex co-morbidity and promotes greater value in patient experience, thus improved outcomes.
Demand for personalised devices is high, fuelled by growing evidence of increased effectiveness and greater levels of awareness.
The application of digital design engineering technologies, such as 3d scanning, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM), Additive Manufacturing (AM) and 3d printing in medical applications is growing particularly rapidly.
However, the enthusiasm of surgical, rehabilitation and other healthcare specialists must be channelled effectively to assure the highest standards of design and manufacturing, which seamlessly address the needs of individuals.
It is believed that utilising a user-centred design approach between the end users, clinicians and designers would enable assistive technology to better meet needs. This approach would facilitate the production of more bespoke solutions to increase engagement with service users and produce novel assistive technology solutions to overcome the challenges presented by modern day healthcare.