When Dorothy Burns finger splint snapped, the last thing on her mind was technologies like 3D print.
Dorothy faced the inconvenience of a long trip to hospital for a consultation and another for a fitting a new hand-made orthotic. Like many independent minded people, Dorothy decided to put up with the pain and inconvenience of her arthritis and save the NHS the trouble and cost.
Luckily for Dorothy, her daughter Rowena is CEO of Manchester Science Park, where Lucid is based. She knew that the team could fix it. Maybe we went over the top, but 3D scanning the broken pieces, re-assembling them in 3D CAD and 3D printing a new robust splint got us thinking about how these digital tools could revolutionise and customise healthcare.
Digitising limbs and creating 3D modelled orthotics gives the clinician an accurate record of the progressive conditions on patient physiology. Dorothy’s need for costly, inconvenient appointments to deal with a breakage could disappear. A simple call for a repeat prescription to be 3D printed from the digital data could mean a replacement in hours.
With commonplace tools like 3D print and some innovative thinking, the world of custom orthotics could be revolutionised – with real benefits for patients and healthcare providers.