Medical

High-tech support device casts aside the cast

The ActivArmor support device takes the place of a cast or brace
The ActivArmor support device takes the place of a cast or brace
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The ActivArmor support device is already available in select US markets
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The ActivArmor support device is already available in select US markets
The ActivArmor support device can be gotten wet without problem
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The ActivArmor support device can be gotten wet without problem
The ActivArmor support device takes the place of a cast or brace
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The ActivArmor support device takes the place of a cast or brace

Traditional plaster casts are a hassle. They don't allow the injured limb to breathe, they can't be gotten wet, they can't be temporarily removed, they're heavy, plus skin ulcers and infections sometimes occur beneath them. A team of Colorado-based entrepreneurs, however, has developed a 21st century alternative – the ActivArmor support device.

The process starts with the patient getting a 3D scan done on the body part in question. This no-contact procedure is conducted at a participating clinic/hospital, and takes less than a minute to perform. It results in a digital point cloud model of the limb, which is uploaded to the ActivArmor website.

The company proceeds to use that model to create a thermoplastic support device, which is custom-formed (but not necessarily 3D-printed) to match the contours of the limb. The finished product is then shipped back to the clinic, within a few business days. During that waiting period, the patient wears a temporary splint.

Depending on the injury, the lightweight support device can be made in either one complete piece that's simply slid onto the limb, or in a two-piece design that can be taken off and put back on again using a patented closure mechanism.

The ActivArmor support device is already available in select US markets
The ActivArmor support device is already available in select US markets

Wearers can bathe, swim and scratch itches while still keeping the limb immobilized and supported, plus doctors are able to see how everything is doing.

The ActivArmor system is already available in Colorado, with a wider roll-out planned to take place soon. Mexico's Mediprint is developing a similar product, the NovaCast, although it doesn't involve a 3D scan and is 3D-printed.

Source: ActivArmor

5 comments
Oun Kwon
Wonderful. Wunderbar.
Winterbiker
Looks like a great innovation, perhaps they will go one step further and put the 3D printer in the hospital (s), so once they have developed the model, they could just print it right there, eliminating the need for a temporary splint.
noteugene
Way cool. Broke my wrist at growth line years ago. Stuck it under water in the tub and wiggled out of my cast after 4-5 weeks. Dumb kid....didn't know any better (well I did but didn't care) but the thing itched like hell. Only drawback I see here is all your school buddies have no where to sign their names and write smart ass comments. This is no way to hit on the ladies..............!
MD
Pretty sure this type of device is already Public domain....
noahvail
A smart looking bit of progress! Agree with Winterbiker, performing a 3-D scan immediately followed by a 3-D print **right in the hospital** will save time and increase the patients' sense of well-being. As the price of 3-D drops and their speed improves, this should be SOP in hospitals.