3 years ago

Thinking in 3D: a future for dialysis?

Giorgina Barbara Piccoli


A recent paper, entitled “Validation of an effective, low cost, free/open access 3D-printed stethoscope”, recently appeared on PLoS One, reports on the validation of a 3D-printed stethoscope that costs about 100 times less than the classic Littman most of us carry in our pockets. The stethoscope model, called Glia, can be downloaded for free. This unusual paper may deepened our understanding of inequalities in health care around the world, but may also show how much we can learn from the inventive approaches employed by colleagues struggling to provide health care when they literally have nothing. Teaching students to monitor heart auscultation with an inexpensive, well-functioning 3D-printed stethoscope can be a lesson in creating a better world. Furthermore, the article reminds that good research can be done without sponsorship. The study design is clear; the methods are reproducible; validation is up to us. At a time in which we may have to re-think our complex relationship with the medical industry, this paper underlines the importance of intellectual independence. Will the 3D-printer bring a wind of innovation to our practice? Will it contribute to the development of low-cost artificial kidneys? These are good questions, still without answers. For now, we might limit to one first, basic question: are we ready for 3D thinking?

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40620-018-0520-4

DOI: 10.1007/s40620-018-0520-4

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