A Clinical High

Doctors Administer Medical Marijuana Remotely With This 3D Printed Inhaler

Medical Marijuana

Medical cannabis has been tough for doctors to accurately prescribe, but this 3D printed cannabis inhaler created by the Tel Aviv-based startup Syqe Medical could be a promising solution.

We’ve seen a number of instances where 3D printing technology has been utilized within the world’s budding marijuana industry, from 3D printed hydroponics to water bongs. But more importantly, this plant-based substance has proven to offer medicinal value that extends way outside of stereotypical stoner culture. While marijuana gains acceptance throughout the medical community, devices are needed to ensure that it’s consumed safely and accurately.

To solve this issue, the Tel Aviv-based medical startup Syqe Medical has created two versions of 3D printed medical cannabis inhalers. The Syqe Inhaler is engineered for individuals to use on their own accord at home (see image below), while the more advanced Syqe Inhaler Exo allows hospitals to remotely administer a precise dose of marijuana to patients.

The two pocket-sized medical devices come preloaded 100-micrograms cannabis cartridges that are structurally modified for medical use. The 3D printed inhalers also features thermal and flow controllers, lung interfacing, and wireless connectivity for monitoring purposes. Not only will the Syqe Medical inhalers help patients obtain the exact medical dose that they need, they will also eliminate the harmful risks of smoking.

The Role of 3D Printing Technology

Initially unveiled back in 2014, the 3D printed cannabis inhaler has passed human clinical trials and is finally prepared to grace the medical market. According to Syqe Medical CEO Perry Davidson, almost 75% of the device components used during clinical trials were 3D printed, including the shell, chassis, airway, and thermal housing.

These parts were produced by a range of Stratasys 3D printers, including the Objet30 Pro, Connex3, Objet Eden260v, and MakerBot Replicator 2. The medical startup also used an array of specific-use thermoplastic materials to match the necessary function of each component. Even as the company plans to shift towards other manufacturing methods that are more conducive to mass production, Syqe Medical has claimed that some of the components would likely remain 3D printed in the future.

From Practice to Practical Use

The prototyping capabilities of 3D printing technology have enabled Syqe Medical to speed up the production process and secure a distribution deal with Teva Pharmaceuticals, recognized the largest generic drug maker in the world. The recent move sets up the 3D printed cannabis inhaler to be released throughout Israel in 2017, which could spark popularity in the United States and other countries that permit medical marijuana use.

The 3D printed marijuana inhaler is already being utilized by the Israel-based Rambam hospital, making them the first medical institution in the world to prescribe cannabis as a “standard medical treatment”.

All in all, Syqe Medical has created a viable solution to the issues that doctors face while trying prescribe a proper cannabis dose to their patients. As the plant-based substance becomes increasingly accepted for its medicinal value, look for 3D printing technology to continue playing a role in the development of products aimed towards this growing and green market.