Had an accident lately? The most interaction your broken bones can expect is a flurry of signatures and well-wishes on your cast—nice, but not exactly conducive to healing. Brazilian designer Pedro Nakazato Andrade, however, has something more engaging in mind: a high-tech orthopedic cast that not only monitors recovery but also cues up your own online cheer squad. Using electromyographic (EMG) sensors, “Bones” tracks muscle activity around a fracture in real time, wirelessly syncing that data to a website doctors can access. Online, Bones analyses the patient’s progress, suggests specific exercises to keep the affected muscles active, and extrapolates the time to full mobility if targets are consistently met.
GET WELL SOONER
Andrade designed the “smart” cast as a tool for recovery, as well as empowerment. No more waiting to see a doctor for a vague notion of how you’re doing—Bones’ live feedback lets you know whether your fracture is under strain or if you’re not working your muscles enough to keep them from atrophying. By treating recovery like a game (i.e., performing the correct exercises shortens your time spent in a cast), Bones ultimately reduces healing time.
By providing real-time feedback and treating recovery like a game, Bones ultimately reduces healing time.
Plus, Andrade’s system incorporates social networking so Bones users can share stories and tips about recovery. “On the website new users can visualize the achievements of current and former patients with the same type of fracture,” he says. “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.”
Recovery from any ailment can be an isolating process. Bones ameliorates that by creating a community of patients, doctors, and physiotherapists to draw from.
[Via Fashioning Technology]