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Manufacturing Revamps Healthcare

Electro Kinetic Technologies has blogged in the past about how important the advancements made in engineering and manufacturing are to the continued health and safety of the workers who take care of us when we need it the most. Musculoskeletal injuries are common1 among healthcare workers, and every day our engineers seek out ergonomic solutions that keep fast-paced hospitals and clinics moving, while protecting the dedicated staff that runs them. However, our contribution to the advancement of the quality and integrity of the healthcare industry is only one example of the ways manufacturers and engineers collaborate with healthcare professionals to advance the field of medicine.

Additive Manufacturing Saves Lives

While the custom ergonomic equipment our engineers design and build keeps healthcare workers healthy enough to keep saving lives, additive manufacturers find new and better ways those same workers can continue to save lives.2 Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, streamlines medical device innovation, speeds up the process of fabricating anatomically accurate models built for product testing and pedagogy, and allows for cost effective design and creation of orthotics, prosthetics, and bionics. The potential applications for additive manufacturing are almost too numerous to count, and as engineers, we’re always looking forward to the cutting edge advancements our fellow manufacturers develop.

Medtech Innovation Beyond 3D Printing

In addition to 3D printing, seemingly traditional sectors of manufacturing have also enhanced the quality of our healthcare, for example, metal working and application of alloys. Over the last fifty years3, researchers and manufacturers have been working on developing medical device technology from Nitinol, a super-elastic nickel and titanium alloy with the unique property of Shape Memory originally designed for aerospace applications.4 From innovative wire and tubing to advanced endoscopic instruments4, the possibilities for this strong, yet flexible metal are endless. Manufacturers and engineers working with Nitinol expect to see more advancements in the areas of, “general surgery, structural heart disease and orthopaedics,” in particular.
Whether manufacturers are configuring new applications for long-studied alloys, or redesigning the way we develop and produce medical devices and models, they are consistently at the forefront of medical advancement and innovation. As engineers, we applaud these sometimes amazing contributions to the advancement of healthcare, even as we also take satisfaction in our own quiet but important role in the industry.
For more information on how Electro Kinetic Technologies helps healthcare facilities revamp their patient transport, equipment movement, and material handling processes, contact one of our staff members here.

2 http://www.stratasys.com/industries/medical
3 http://www.medicaldevice-network.com/features/feature1338/

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