It isn’t until you have to wear a plaster cast that you realise how impractical they can be. Itchy, smelly and bulky – it’s one of the simpler areas of medicine that has been neglected of late as we make headway in more sophisticated areas, such as 3D moulding, neuroscience and cancer research. Broken limbs however are one of the most common reasons we have to visit the accident and emergency room – so isn’t it about time we re-evaluated the common plaster cast?
Deniz Karasahin’s reinterpretation has snagged him an A’Design Award and raised lots of interest in the process. Described as an ‘attachable bone stimulator’ to Osteoid medical cast aims to improve the overall healing process and experience. In order for the cast to perfectly fit the patients limb, the area is scanned via a 3D body scanner. This data is then transferred to modelling software that decides the overall size and geometry of the cast depending on the injury itself. Unlike traditional casts which don’t offer any ventilation, the Osteoid has algorithmically generated ventilation holes, allowing the skin to breathe and eradicating any nasty smells that might otherwise occur. The material of the cast means it is slimmer, lighter, waterproof and environmentally friendly. The cast also offers the option to combine with its complimentary , low intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) system, a process which promised to reduce the healing process up to 38% and increase the heal rate up to 80% in non-union fractures. This method needs direct contact with the skin, also benefiting from the Osteoid’s uniquely hole-y structure. Overall the Osteoid is at once both a relatively simple and very complex design concept, combining the best elements of common sense and medical innovation. Expect to see sportsmen the world over using this approach, before it slowly (and hopefully) filters to the NHS.
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