Rethinking Healthcare

Sensor-laden cast helps fractures heal more quickly

Sensor-laden cast helps fractures heal more quickly

Posting in Design

A special cast by Pedro Andrade may speed up the healing process for fractures.

No matter where you are on the fitness scale, living a healthy lifestyle is essential for optimal health. Daily workouts can help you eliminate stress and increase your happiness.

Unfortunately, there's no guidebook that tells you how to avoid injuries on the playing field. But what if there was a cast to help patients heal in a shorter amount of time?

An innovative device by Pedro Andrade, a recent graduate of Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, offers patients a chance to heal in less time with a unique orthopedic cast. On his website, Andrade states that Bones” is a cast that uses sensors to capture muscle activity around a fracture. Movement is tracked using electromyographic sensors, and stored within the cast, states Andrade.

According to Andrade's website:

This information can be synced via wireless to the user’s online profile where they have a history of their activities as a simulation of their full mobility recovery time according to their progression and exercising routine. On the website, Bones analyses the user’s achievements and suggests specific exercises in order to keep the muscles active around the fracture area.

To be clear, the cast doesn't heal the bone itself -- rather, it reduces the therapy time necessary to recover from a fracture.

Andrade says on his site that Bones should be open to select community members such as doctors, physiotherapists, and other members of the website's community. Andrade writes:

On the website new users can visualize the achievements of current and former patients with the same type of fracture. The reason for sharing this information works as a way to encourage new users to engage with their recovery process from the beginning of their treatment.

To see a video of the cast in action, visit Andrade's video on Vimeo.

Tell us: Would you feel uncomfortable using a website that shares information with other patients?  Do you think you would benefit from an interactive community? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

[via Co. DesignGizmodo]

Image: Flickr via Craig Allen

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Stacy Lipson

Contributing Writer

Contributing Writer Stacy Lipson has written for Natural Health, MSNBC's Body Odd, HealthDay.com, Sprig.com, BNET.com, MarieClaire.com, MyDaily.com and Lemondrop.com. He holds a degree from Temple University. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure