By 2040, more than a quarter of the U.S. population will have diagnosed arthritic conditions. Adults with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions earn less than average yet have medical care expenditures that are over 12% of average household income. Adaptive aids can help arthritis patients continue to maintain independence and quality of life; however, their high costs limit accessibility for older people and the poor. One method used for consumer price reduction is distributed manufacturing with 3-D printers. In order to assess if such a method would be financially beneficial, this study evaluates the techno-economic viability of distributed manufacturing of adaptive aids for arthritis patients. Twenty freely accessible designs for 3-D printable adaptive aids were successfully fabricated on low-cost desktop 3-D printers and performed their functions adequately. The financial savings averaged >94% compared to commercially-available products. Overall, twenty adaptive aids were printed for US$20 of plastic; while on average, each adaptive aid would save over US$20. As printing a tiny subset of the adaptive aids needed by a single patient would recover the full capital and operational costs of a low-cost 3-D printer, it can be concluded that there is considerable potential for distributed manufacturing to assist arthritis patients.
Joshua, P (2019). Economic Potential for Distributed Manufacturing of Adaptive Aids for Arthritis Patients in the U.S. Afribary.com: Retrieved June 26, 2019, from https://afribary.com/works/economic-potential-for-distributed-manufacturing-of-adaptive-aids-for-arthritis-patients-in-the-u-s
Pearce, Joshua. "Economic Potential for Distributed Manufacturing of Adaptive Aids for Arthritis Patients in the U.S" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 11 Apr. 2019, https://afribary.com/works/economic-potential-for-distributed-manufacturing-of-adaptive-aids-for-arthritis-patients-in-the-u-s . Accessed 26 Jun. 2019.
Pearce, Joshua. "Economic Potential for Distributed Manufacturing of Adaptive Aids for Arthritis Patients in the U.S". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 11 Apr. 2019. Web. 26 Jun. 2019. < https://afribary.com/works/economic-potential-for-distributed-manufacturing-of-adaptive-aids-for-arthritis-patients-in-the-u-s >.
Pearce, Joshua. "Economic Potential for Distributed Manufacturing of Adaptive Aids for Arthritis Patients in the U.S" Afribary.com (2019). Accessed June 26, 2019. https://afribary.com/works/economic-potential-for-distributed-manufacturing-of-adaptive-aids-for-arthritis-patients-in-the-u-s