North Korea’s latest technological innovation isn’t a destructive one: the state claims to have the ability to reproduce bone material, which can be used in cosmetic surgery and dentistry.
Using 3D printing tech, the printer would help North Korean doctors work with detailed images and models, which assists in the accuracy of medical procedures.
A KCTV news segment showed doctors printing what was said to be a lower human jaw.
“With this new technology, we can mold various bone fragments through a detailed facial blueprint,” said Dr. Hwang Seong-hyeok from the state department of dentistry.
3D printing uses digital files to re-create real life, physical objects. It’s seen as a low-cost way to produce materials in a growing number of industries, including medicine and manufacturing.
It’s made significant advancements in medicine; most notably, the first transplant using a 3D-printed skull was successful in Holland, and 3D printed limbs have been used for children injured in Sudan’s civil war.
Having said that, there are doubts the North Korean’s technology can be applied in other countries. The state has a sanction-hit health system, which is reportedly challenged with broken equipment and declining treatment options. Even their neighbours to the south, the South Koreans, who’re one of the world’s cosmetic surgery and technology capitals, is still figuring out how to employ this 3D tech into medicine and dentistry.
Pyongyang University of Science and Technology unveiled its 3D printer at the Pyongyang trade show last June, though this is the first time a working printer has been shown off on state-regulated television.