Along with the encyclopedia, VCRs, and phones that stick into walls, go ahead and add itchy plaster casts to your “back in my day” list. New, improved 3D-printed casts are coming, and they’ll heal your kid more quickly and comfortably than the ones you used — yes, even the cool blue one. The only downside? Their friends can’t really sign them.
The way it works is after the broken bone is scanned, design software prints a water-proof, flexible plastic cast that is customized for the individual. Carol Lin, an orthopedic surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, told MIT Technology Review that these casts could cut down on the number of followup visits you have to chauffeur broken kids around to, and might even reduce healing time. Just don’t hurt yourself celebrating, because these bad boys are expected to cost anywhere from $200 to $500 dollars, and no, you don’t get the second one free.
The casts aren’t available to the injured masses just yet, but a number of startups are working on changing that. Xkelet, a Spain based company that recently won the Red Dot Design Award for it’s innovative cast. Ahead of the curve, they plan to start clinic trials in September and hope to have the cast in hospitals within the next 6 months. So, try to get your kid to hold off breaking anything until then.
[H/T] The Daily Dot
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