While 3D printing is becoming more widely used in general engineering the use of 3D printing in the medical and allied sectors such as dentistry has only just begun.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has pledged that every patient in England will have access to their medical records and be able to book an appointment with a GP via an app by the end of 2018.
Speaking at the NHS Expo 2017, Hunt promised the national rollout of an integrated app which will also be used for ordering prescriptions and accessing NHS 111.
Hunt is expected to reveal the key expectations he wants to see rolled out across the NHS by the end of its 70th birthday year in 2018.
Pilot schemes, which are part of the £4.2 billion personalised health and care 2020 programme announced by the Health Secretary in 2016, are already under way.
Evaluation of the pilots is ongoing, and if they are successful, they will be rolled out nationwide in the coming months.
Hunt is expected to say: “People should be able to access their own medical records 24/7, show their full medical history to anyone they choose and book basic services like GP appointments or repeat prescriptions online. I do not underestimate the challenge of getting there – but if we do it will be the best possible 70th birthday present from the NHS to its patients.”
Imelda Redmond, national director of Healthwatch England, said: “It is a huge step forward in ensuring all of us get the sort of integrated service we have come to expect in many other areas of life.”