ERGORESEARCH INGENIOSITY DRIVING ORTHOPEDICS
Published May 9 2014 in What's New
Ergoresearch Ltd (TSXV: ERG) announced today the successful completion of new scanner technology destined for the orthopedic industry. More accurate than traditional cast-making methods that rely on plaster bandaging, this technology means orthotists will no longer resort to plaster when applying casts.
This newly developed technology is easy to use and very safe. Now any body part can be scanned in both 3D and in real time. Scanned files are transferred by Internet to Ergoresearch’s computing platforms, where the data is used to manufacture custom fit medical orthotics.
While the Company’s Web-Fit custom foot orthotics’ computer-assisted design and manufacturing system relies on a pressure distribution system, creating a knee brace requires ‘3D contoured imaging.’ In this context, a scanner is very advantageous and advances are significant.
The new device was recently implemented and many clinicians are already using it to cast knees.
Danielle Boucher, of one the first clinicians to use the scanner technology who also took part in the research project states: “This technology is faster than traditional plaster casts – it cuts over 50% in clinical time. For the patient, not having a cast covering their leg also presents distinct advantages. Finally, by scanning the patient’s knee and sending the file via Internet, we increase precision and eliminate time and costs associated with shipping the molds to the manufacturing plant.”
ECOLOGICAL GREENER METHODS
Ergoresearch’s group of subsidiaries alone account for eliminating hundreds of overland shipments. In addition, with the thousands of pounds of plaster used annually, clearly environmental benefits are important.
If practical, ecological and clinical benefits are obvious, financial benefits are major. Scanners generate substantial savings:
- Plaster costs
- Shipping costs
- Increased productivity
“High precision scanners that have been on the market for a number of years cost $20,000 on average. Their high price tag remains an obstacle to their broader adoption by the orthopedic industry. Our new scanning device and its software developed in this R&D project are available at a much lower price than that of a high precision scanner
“Given the orthopedic industry’s needs are far less complex than those of the aerospace and automotive industries, Ergoresearch was able to develop a scanning system that meets industry standards rigorously, but at a fraction of the cost of existing technologies,” explains Mr. Louis Desrosiers, VP Research & Development at Ergoresearch.
This added competitive edge will enable Ergoresearch to conquer new market shares for its ‘custom’ products like the OdrA, its new world patented distraction-rotation device.
“The OdrA device’s delivery of pain relief to knee osteoarthritis sufferers has been proven both scientifically and clinically. The spectacular results observed are however dependent on accurate custom manufacturing. Owing to this new advanced technology, shipping plaster molds to a central-fab custom orthotics facility is no longer necessary. Launching an optical scanner system at such a low entry cost is a major milestone for Ergoresearch. It will lead to new strategic alliances with healthcare professionals around the globe.
“Challenges were many but our strategic alliance with CRIM¹, our partnership with Protéor, France’s leader in orthopedics, the Ergoresearch team’s enthusiastic participation and the financial support of the NRC² led this project to successful completion,” says Sylvain Boucher, President and CEO of Ergoresearch. He also extends his thanks to the project’s many stakeholders who made this orthopedic breakthrough possible.
CRIM¹: Computer Research Institute of Montreal
NRC²: National Research Council