Home > Uncategorized > Australia: Kangaroos; Boomerangs; and Organ 3D Printing Facilities!

Australia: Kangaroos; Boomerangs; and Organ 3D Printing Facilities!

Happy Monday dear readers!

Are you well rested and over-fed from your Thanksgiving break?  Did you survive the terrors of Black Friday?  Is there anything left in the bank account with which to meet Cyber Monday?  Does anyone think these so-called “sales” are just frauds perpetrated against the citizenry?

Anywho, today’s story comes to you straight from the outback, and will be of particular importance to those of us who survived Thursday’s revelries needing a new liver, a new stomach, or, depending on how the awkward family discussion of recent political events went, fresh brain tissue.  It may also be of interest to us who note that workers’ compensation costs are often drive, at least in part, by medical treatment.

Herston Health Precinct in Queensland, Australia, has announced that it will be installing a biofabrication institute to “image, model[,]and manufacture 3D patient-specific tissues under one roof.”

The ultimate goal would be to 3D print tissue and organs to eliminate the delay of organ transplant waiting lists (and the related complications involved in organ transplants in general).

So, what does this mean for us in the workers’ compensation world?

Aside from the human aspects of wanting injured workers to receive high-quality medical care, there is the financial incentive as well: injured worker goes back to work and everybody wins; effective medical care for serious injuries becomes cheaper to provide and maintain and everybody wins.

We’re already seeing a growing potential for eliminating blindness and for mitigating the impact of lost limbs.  Injuries resulting in serious organ damage and the need for bone and skin replacement might be significantly mitigated if such centers are made cost-effective and readily available.

The old saying goes that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, and the second best time is today.  In 20 years, which trees will we wish we had planted today?  How will workers’ compensation continue to function when the more dangerous jobs are being replaced by automation on the one hand, and industrial injuries are “cured” rather than just having their symptoms relieved or mitigated by medical advances on the other?

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