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A Beautiful Medical Device: This Biomimetic Orthotic Collar

A Beautiful Medical Device: This Biomimetic Orthotic Collar





Orthoses are medical devices that provide support to a patient’s body. This unusual orthosis was designed by Luke Hale, a doctor in England. Hale founded a company called Pi-A Health, which uses technology to help patients recover.

“I designed a new way to make orthoses from 3D scans, so they would be strong and porous, a bit like bone,” Hale writes. “We then applied the workflow to a patient with a neurological condition who unfortunately could not wear a regular collar.”

The halo went through a number of design iterations:

“This collar is the result of digital manufacturing methods combining 3D scanning, procedural design and 3D printing. Its form is derived from an algorithm that mimics the structure of bone, creating a lightweight and strong collar. The process is faster and more responsive to patient feedback than traditional manual casting, shaping and plastic molding methods.”

“In collaboration with the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Pi-A developed this collar for a patient with a neurodegenerative condition, which he now wears every day. It has led to improvements in the patient’s posture and breathing where other devices have failed.”