The startup Proteo, a company founded in Siena, Italy, about two years ago, deals with digital manufacturing systems in the health sector. Thanks to a digital fabrication cycle, based on 3D scanning of patient anatomy, CAD modeling of the medical device and finally 3D printing of the object, the feasibility of health devices has been explored, especially in the orthopaedic sector.
Since the end of April their first application of 3D scanning for human anatomy will be available on the app store. The application uses the sensor structure, a tool that, thanks to the connection to a tablet iPad, allows you to create 3D scans of the framed subjects or objects. The Proteo team has spent months developing an application that, even without informatics or technological skills, would allow orthotists, physiotherapists or doctors to make accurate 3D scans to their patients, in a very short time. The application has an extremely simple running; through a guided process it allows the doctor to get a 3D model of the anatomy of the patient easily and quickly, at the same time it solves some problems that usually afflict people who want to do a quality scan without specific skills ( such as know the right position of the subject or the object or the optimal distance between it and the 3D scanning sensor).
Proteo comes into the orthopaedic world promoting the first of a series of products which, in the intentions of the three members Nicola, Federico and Alessandro, will revolutionize the world of manufacturing customized medical devices. Proteo has spent nearly two years exploring the applicability of a production cycle based on scanning, digital modeling and 3D printing with excellent results in the production of guardians for the upper and lower limbs, chronic care and trauma, as well as busts and corsets for various dysmorphic spine, also conducting the first trial in the world of braces for carpal tunnel syndrome, in collaboration with the Public Health Structure of Florence.
This is just the first step to transform a world that until now had to rely on expensive tools to avoid long and difficult manual processes. Today however, and increasingly in the future, thanks to the work of companies like Proteo, the possibilities of use of economic and efficient instruments for the implementation, using 3D printers, of tailored medical devices will increase. The next steps of the startup will be dedicated to further development of the application like allow to obtain the measurements of the anatomy directly from the digital model and provide a simple tool to design medical devices to be performed successively using 3D printing.