In the constant pursuit of innovation, it’s easy to overlook the wisdom of the past. The scientific method and modern research techniques have brought us much innovation, which can often lead us to dismiss traditional cultural beliefs.
However, sometimes, there are still valuable kernels of truth in the folklore of yesteryear. This holds true in a medical study from Finland, which focused on the traditional use of spruce resin to treat chronic wounds, breathing new life into an age-old therapy.
One of the challenges of diagnosing diseases is identifying them early. At this stage, signs may be vague or confusing, or difficult to identify. Early diagnosis is often tied to the best possible treatment outcomes, so there’s plenty of incentives to improve methods in this way.
When you think of medical devices, the idea of high end, well, pretty much everything, comes to mind. This is definitely the case when it comes to prosthetics, or in this similar case, custom fit splints. A hacker by the name of [sammyizimmy] wasn’t put off by the complexity of a custom splint for his fractured big toe, and a great hack made it all possible.
The story starts with a fractured toe, and an open source project called InVesalius. Instead of doing an X-Ray on his toe, [sammyizimmy]’s doctor decided to do a Computed Tomography scan (aka CT Scan) to get a look at the damage. For being as ubiquitous as they are, it’s easy to forget that a CT scan is an extremely detailed look at both internal and external parts.
The hack really began when [sammyizimmy] asked his radiologist for a copy of the CT Scan. This is something most radiologists will provide upon request, although many people don’t know you can even ask. [sammyizimmy] took his CT scan and opened it up in InVesalius, and then reconstructed the skin layer only, and then… head over to the “3d printed Toe Splint” page at Hackaday.io for the rest!
You might have heard of the cochlear implant. It’s an electronic device also referred to as a neuroprosthesis, serving as a bionic replacement for the human ear. These implants have brought an improved sense of hearing to hundreds of thousands around the world.
However, the cochlear implant isn’t the only game in town. The auditory brain stem implant is another device that promises to bring a sense of sound to those without it, albeit by a different route.