For more than a century, healing fractures has meant submitting to a chunky plaster cast designed to protect and hold broken bones tight.
Sigvards Krongorns and Janis Olins want to change that. Their startup, CastPrint, uses 3D printing to create personalised, lightweight casts, with a plastic web to encase and support broken hands, feet, and fingers.
As well as being waterproof, the casts can be taken on and off — allowing patients to start rehabilitation exercises earlier. The team is already collaborating with five hospitals across Riga.
“Our team’s greatest challenge has been to be patient and grow step-by-step. One of the main characteristics of healthtech industry is that it takes time for the medical community and users to get acquainted with the technology and start using it,” says co-founder Krongorns.
“Since we first had the idea for 3D print casts two-and-a-half years ago, we have helped over 150 people with various fractures. For a typical startup, the numbers may seem small, but in healthcare, it’s seen as lightning speed,” he says.
At 100 Euro each, the casts are pricier that their traditional counterparts, but Krongorns and Janis believe that the faster healing time makes it worthwhile — and the chance to cut down on physio sessions can always help users to balance the books.