27.09.2021 - Startups, Technology

CastPrint is now also available in Hawaii

Medical technology start-up CastPrint has agreed to cooperate with a partner in Hawaii, who will print 3D casts according to the Latvian start-up’s methodology. The partner will use the same 3D printers, materials, and post-processing methodology.

Jokingly, CastPrint co-founder Sigvards Krongorns compares it to McDonald’s – no matter where in the world a person eats a burger, it is prepared and tastes the same everywhere.

The team had the idea of such a business model in the past, but doctors always wanted to be sure of quality standards. At present, the new company has developed a methodology and streamlined processes so that the partner can work independently according to CastPrint guidelines. If the cooperation is successful, it is planned to work the same way in other countries as well. In this business model, partners are interested in looking for new clients – clinics that would provide CastPrint casts to patients.

“In this way, the pace of development can be much faster,” says Krongorns.

The population of Hawaii is similar to that of Latvia, so the number of fracture injuries is also similar. S. Krongorns is convinced that such an innovation could be more popular there, because it is warm weather all year round, as a result of which people often experience eczema, rashes, etc. when wearing plaster.

Also prints 3D casts for dogs

“CastPrint” also offers 3D printed custom-fit casts for dogs, wrote Labs of Latvia. The company has created a separate brand “VetCasts”. The owner or veterinarian of the dog enters the parameters of the required cast on the VetCasts platform, the company prints them out and sends them.

“We gradually learn from each case,” says Krongorns.

Recently, the team also printed the first prothesis for a cat with amputated hind legs. 

“So far, the volumes are relatively small, but this is an international project from day one. We have also sent casts to Lithuania and Norway,” says Jānis Oliņš, co-founder of CastPrint.

500 casts per year

Much like injuries, CastPrint’s business is seasonal. Summer begins with the warm weather and school holidays, but the winter season usually begins in December, when the ski resorts begin to work and lasts until March. Children suffer more injuries in summer and adults in winter. The busy season usually is around six to seven months a year.

S. Krongorns says that the latest data of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention show that people in Latvia get an average of 12 thousand injuries – fractures a year. “Children get about 500 injuries in the summer. 10% of children used CastPrint this summer – we printed out 50 CastPrint casts in the summer,” says Krongorns. Last year, the company printed 500 casts.

Registered throughout Europe

The company has used the support of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency’s voucher program. In cooperation with the specialists of the Institute of Materials Mechanics of the University of Latvia, the company compared CastPrint 3D printed casts and the traditional “plaster cast”. The results show that it takes 1.5 to three times more force to deform a CastPrint than it does to deform an ordinary plaster cast.

In 2020, the company implemented a project in cooperation with the consortium “AMable”, which is a European Union project aimed at bringing 3D technologies to the market.

“Working with Dr. Wissam Raphael, a traumatologist, we have jointly improved our leg cast mechanism, increasing its strength,” says Krongorns.

CastPrint is listed in the EUDAMED database of European medical device manufacturers as a manufacturer of custom-made Class 1 medical devices. This means that the company’s 3D printed casts are registered in the European Union and can be offered in any EU country without prior notification to the local regulator.

Friends’ business

CastPrint founders Sigvards Krongorns and Jānis Oliņš are friends who previously worked for a company that provided audit services. They had no prior experience in the medical business, but in 2016, both came to the conclusion that today there should be a modern alternative to the traditional plaster to treat fracture injuries. They decided to try offering the unprecedented 3D printer-printed cast, made individually for each patient.

CastPrint has graduated in the Startup Wise Guys program, as well as received support from the Atspēriens grant competition. In 2019, CastPrint graduated from the Buildit Acceleration. So far, the company has attracted 270 thousand euros of investment from accelerators and private angel investors. The company currently has nine employees.

Source: labsoflatvia.com

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