Patients like me - but also healthy people - want 3D tablets

Quantum leap innovation from a patient's point of view

Digitalization is fundamentally changing the relationship between me and my doctor.

I suffer from diabetes or coronary heart disease or asthma or any other chronic disease that can be well managed for me by taking tablets every day. So it's not important (for the blog) which disease it is. Rather it is important to me to finally get access to the long propagated personalized medicine.

In the future, personalised medicine will provide me with tailor-made therapies. The basis for this will be health data, which I will collect myself as a patient. Fitness trackers provide vital parameters such as pulse and number of steps, number of steps, sleep quality; calorie consumption sensors measure body temperatures, cardiovascular parameters (ECG, pulse), accelerometers measure various movement parameters; measurement of skin resistance for parameters of the autonomous nervous system as well as oxygen saturation of the blood (Majumder et al, 2017). From these data in connection with my laboratory parameters or biomarkers, which the doctor collects from me, better predictions about my best possible therapy result. Not only the selection of the active pharmaceutical ingredients but also the individual dosage can be determined by the physician in the future possibly by the use of algorithms. Thus, digitalization at the interface between me and my physician through data collection and data analysis will make a further contribution to personalized medicine.

So I come to the pharmacy with the prescription for a prescription drug as usual. In the future there will probably be specialized pharmacies that will offer 3-dimensional (D) printing of individualized tablets.

As far as I wish this and agreed with the pharmacist, the tablets can still be equipped with innovative external features. My initials can be printed on the tablet and thus individualise it externally. I could also choose the shape (e.g. gummy bears for my children's tablet) and colour. Tablets could contain imprints that make it possible to distinguish between taking them in the morning and in the evening or indicate the day of the week. For me there would be many advantages. I would also like to take individual 3D tablets regularly, because these products were only produced and optimized for me. In addition, counterfeits of tablets can be avoided or become uninteresting through individualization. Perhaps most important for me: an individual dosage prevents overdosage with side effects or underdosages, which otherwise show no effectiveness.

Especially for my children this is a "quantum leap innovation", as drug formulations often only contain dosages for adults. But also other patients who have to follow complex dosing regimens for many tablets could benefit from this "quantum leap innovation" in a very special way. Up to 5 different active ingredients can be combined in a single 3D printed tablet. By modifying release profiles of individual active ingredients, one 3D tablet/day could replace up to 5 conventional tablets with different times of administration per day. This should significantly relieve older patients (to whom I do not yet belong).


The pharmacist therefore produces the 3D tablets in the exact dosage and quantity required and is thus responsible for decentralised production, packaging and distribution. Certainly my feedback to the pharmacist regarding the applicability of the 3D tablets in practice will be of great interest for the optimization of the manufacturing process. In any case, the quantum leap innovation of 3D printing of tablets for patients of all ages, but also for healthy people who may need individual preventive medication, will be a decisive step towards optimizing personalized therapy and medicine.

Who shares my assessment of the quantum leap potential of the 3D tablet?


Note: the entire article is the author's opinion, not that of any of his previous or current employers, and this publication is not supported by them in any way.


Interested in more blogs about 3D printing?

In the previous episode "3D printing from the pharmacy so the tablets are finally patient-friendly" was explained.

In the next blog the quantum jump innovation from the view of the physician is described.




Wearable Sensors for Remote Health Monitoring; Sumit Majumder,Tapas Mondal,and M. Jamal Deen,Journal ListSensors v.17(1); 2017


Dr. Volker Moeckel

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