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.
Swansea University's Institute of Life Science is leading research into the trial of bandages which use real-time 5G technology to monitor how a wound is healing and help doctors keep track of patient’s activity levels.
The trials form part of the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City deal which aims to create a 5G test hub for digital innovation.
Prof Marc Clement, chairman of the Institute of Life Science (ILS), commented: "5G is an opportunity to produce resilient, robust bandwidth that is always there for the purpose of healthcare.
"That intelligent dressing uses nano-technology to sense the state of that wound at any one specific time. It would connect that wound to a 5G infrastructure and that infrastructure through your telephone will also know things about you - where you are, how active you are at any one time.
"You combine all of that intelligence so the clinician knows the performance of the specific wound at any specific time and can then tailor the treatment protocol to the individual and wound in question."
Clement added: "Traditional medicine may be where a clinician might see a patient and then prescribe the treatment approach for a month or three months.
“What the future holds is a world where there's the ability to vary the treatment to the individual, the lifestyle and the pattern of life.
"Sometimes we revere doctors so much that we tell them all is well but all of the evidence is there before them in this 5G world, so the clinician and patient can work together to address the challenge."