A Dubai resident who lost her leg in an accident has become the first in the region to receive a fully 3D printed prosthetic leg.
Belinda Gatland, a British expat in Dubai who has been an amputee for over 10 years, was donated the leg.
The prosthetic device was created by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) in partnership with Arab Health, ProsFit (Bulgaria), Mecuris (Germany), and Mediclinic (UAE).
The initiative was part of the DHA’s 3D Khair initiative, in line with the Year of Giving 2017.
Revealed at the Arab Health 2017 exhibition, the device was the region’s first custom prosthetic leg, especially designed and fully 3D printed with the DHA’s logo.
Humaid Al Qatami, chairman and director-general of the DHA, said: “Our 3D printing strategy is in accordance with UAE’s 3D Printing Strategy. We are keen to bring in the latest technology in medicine to further bolster patient-centric care and improve the lives of our patients to the best extent possible.
“We consider the private sector to be our partner in our endeavours to further strengthen and develop the health sector of Dubai.”
Medical products form a key part of Dubai’s recently unveiled 3D printing strategy, with 3D printed teeth, bones, organs, devices and hearing aids projected to see the sector reach Dhs1.7bn in value in Dubai by 2025.
During Arab Health this year, the DHA also revealed its dental services department would use 3D printing technology in 2017 to print models of teeth for producing prostheses.
The department’s director, Dr Hamda Mesmar said: “Using this technology, a dentist will simply scan the teeth using an intraoral scanner, which will create a digital impression. This image is then sent across to the 3D printing machine through the intranet from different dental clinics within DHA, which then replicates the image as a 3D model.
“The 3D image helps us with accurate planning and precision, especially for complicated dental procedures and surgeries. Patients will greatly benefit from the use of this technology as it helps in better patient outcomes as well as substantially reduces waiting time and cost of care.”
Read more: Is 3D printing the future of healthcare?