08.12.2022 - Healthcare, Startups, Technology

CastPrint looks into supporting burn patient recovery

Health technology startup CastPrint is exploring the potential of 3D technology in the early rehabilitation of patients with severe burns. In collaboration with Rehad, CastPrint is developing a 3D-scan-based solution for the accurate assessment of the body area affected by acute burns.

Jānis Oliņš, co-founder and CEO of CastPrint, explains that during the healing process of severe burns, scar tissue develops, causing movement limitations in the joints. Early prevention of movement limitation, which includes physiotherapy and fixing the joint in the opposite direction to the deformity, significantly reduces the extent and severity of movement limitation. Early rehabilitation can be started in hospital during acute treatment, but joint fixators cannot be applied there at the moment.

The project is a collaboration between CastPrint, which has developed the application of 3D technology to fracture treatment, and Rehad, which provides technical orthopaedics and rehabilitation services. Dr Pavel Mustafin from Norway has also joined the project, sharing his experience and expertise during the project.

Prototypes expected at end of project

Both projects are implemented with the support of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia and Norway Grants under the Business and Innovation Programme in the Small Grants Scheme “Development of Quality of Life Supporting Technologies”.

“We have been familiar with the possibilities of 3D technology for some time, having developed 3D printed fixators for various fracture treatments. We are therefore also convinced of the potential of this technology to innovate further, developing green and patient-centred solutions for rehabilitation from severe burns,” says Oliņš.

He points out that Norway Grants support enables him to implement innovative projects side by side with industry experts SIA Rehad and Dr Pavel Mustafin. “Being involved in the project also provides an excellent opportunity to work with Norwegian specialists whose expertise has been, is and will continue to be an indispensable asset during the course of the projects. We are determined and optimistic that at the end of the projects we will be able to be proud of our successfully developed prototypes,” said Oliņš.

The company started the projects in March this year. With the support of Norway Grants, the aim is to develop prototypes of fixation devices for three most common burn sites within two years, with the aim of reducing the incidence and severity of contractures caused by burn scars, as well as to develop technology that automatically calculates the % of the body surface area affected by burns using 3D scanning.

Exploring potential of supercomputing

CastPrint, a consortium of Riga Technical University HPC Centre and the Institute of Computational Modelling at the University of Latvia, has also won the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Support Programme call FF4EUROHPC. Earlier, Oliņš told Labs of Latvia that the project will try to solve several problems related to 3D technology. “Supercomputers will help us to provide the highest quality 3D models possible, as well as to optimise the amount of material used without sacrificing durability – the less material needed for CastPrint, the faster it will print,” he explained.

Each scanned surface is made up of more than one million elements. Therefore, applying any automation algorithm requires significant computer resources, which would be time-consuming for a normal office computer. During the project, the company will try to solve two major challenges: reducing the design and printing time of the fixator. “In the best-case scenario, by working with the supercomputing competence centre, we will be able to produce CastPrint designs that will be printed faster and at least as durable as previously,” says Oliņš.

Friends in business

CastPrint was founded in 2016 by friends Sigvards Krongorns and Jānis Oliņš. They had no experience in medicine or business, but both came to the conclusion that there had to be a more modern way than the traditional plaster to treat fractures today. They decided to try their hand at something new on the market: a 3D-printed fixator made individually for each patient. The company produces around 500 of these fixators a year.

CastPrint is listed in EUDAMED, the European database of medical device manufacturers, as a Class 1 manufacturer of individually manufactured medical devices. The company’s 3D printed fixation devices are registered in the European Union and can be offered in any EU country, subject to prior notification to the local regulator.

CastPrint also offers 3D-printed fixators for dogs, Labs of Latvia wrote. The company has created a separate brand VetCasts. The dog owner or veterinarian enters the parameters of the desired fixator on the VetCasts platform, the company prints them and sends them.

CastPrint has participated in the Startup Wise Guys accelerator programme and has also been supported by the Atspēriens grant competition. To date, the company has raised 270 thousand euros in investments from accelerators and private angel investors.

Author: Anda Asere (labsoflatvia.com). Publicity photo.

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