A startup company based in Chicago has designed a new, waterproof cast that looks — and functions — like something out of a sci-fi film.
The cast, developed by engineers at the company Cast21, can be worn while swimming, bathing, exercising or even taking a dip in the ocean.
Designed to be breathable, lightweight and totally free of the maddening itchy sensation caused by some traditional medical devices, Cast21's product was crafted to show that breaking or fracturing a limb doesn't have to be a massive inconvenience, according to Veronica Hogg, the company's VP of engineering.
"We have this radical notion that you can enjoy your healing experience," Hogg told the Daily Mail. "You don't need to be restrained from daily activities."
Cast21's plan to remove the "frightening" process of sawing off a cast is simple — get rid of them entirely. Their design doesn't require a saw to remove, and it's also much easier to put on. The company claims its casts can be applied in as little as three minutes and can be taken off in less than 10.
"It's designed so that a physician can take clinical shears, snip through the tabs and pull it open easily. It was designed to completely eliminate the use of a cast saw and make the healing process far more pleasant for the patient," Hogg told the Good News Network.
The secret is the device's liquid pack, which can be easily filled with fluid once the cast is wrapped around a person's arm. From there, the gel quickly becomes malleable and fills the entire cast.
It's a design that Cast21 is hoping to apply to more areas of the body soon.
"The idea is to prove that this technology works," Hogg told the Good News Network. "Right now, we are past the prototype stage and have a fully functioning model in place for the forearm. We hope that this technology can span across the entire body. We are looking forward to having a lower limb model for ankle fractures soon."