Could 3D Technology Improve Orthopedic Care?

3D technology that permits printing and scanning is continuing to enhance how treatment for injuries is conducted. Toronto based company, HEALX Innovation, is one such enterprise that is leading the way in this 3D technology. HEALX specialises in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries by utilising 3D technologies. Their most recent development is in relation to wrist braces that they hope will be fully customizable.

The founder of HEALX, Mandad Tabrizi, has an academic background in design as well as an active interest in kinesiology and self-defence. It is the combination of his athletic pursuits and his design skills that led to Tabrizi establishing his company in 2011. His desire was to seek an effective way to immobilize injuries in order to better treat them.

Although there is a wide range of wrist braces on the market already, there are certain issues associated with them, such as discomfort and general bulkiness. There have also been complaints of odour and even muscle atrophy as a result of wearing these braces for extended periods of time. It is not just the material used to create existing wrist braces that poses these problems but also the way they are connected to the problem area.

HEALX are aiming to revolutionize this treatment by using a 3D scan of the patients injured wrist in order to make a fully tailored brace. It is thought this will enhance the healing process as well as be much more comfortable for the wearer. The materials will be completely waterproof and even allow the wearer to keep it on while follow up X-rays are done of the affected area.

In collaboration with a selection of other companies with similar aims, HEALX is close to developing a material that will provide the wearer with flexibility as well as the rigidity required for healing. Close collaboration is also taking place between HEALX and a variety of healthcare professionals to ensure that these braces provide maximum benefit to those who could soon be wearing them in the future.

There are still many challenges ahead before technology of this kind is available on the market. The obstacles still to overcome involve finding ways to incorporate the concept into existing healthcare procedures and how to manufacture them on a large scale. Although there is still problems to be solved, interest in the potential of this concept is already building. With increased funding being found in the near future and constant developments in the design process, HEALX could soon be revolutionizing the way orthopedic doctors treat their patients!

References

1) http://3dprint.com/83607/heal-x-3d-printed-wrist-brace/

2) http://www.healxinnovation.com/