Ida Poortinga wins IMDI talent award

Ida Poortinga has won the IMDI Talent award 2015-2016 for her research study on the 3D printed finger splint, that therapists and patients can easily design themselves. The digital design can be send to a company that produces the medical aid with a 3D printer.

Making a finger splint is usually done by hand. This process, using heated thermoplast, is time consuming and the end result is usually not so well-finished, according to Ida Poortinga (25). As a student Biomedical Engineering at the University of Groningen, she aimed to simplify and fasten this production process. This challenge nicely fitted the MakeHealth programme of the Creative Care Lab of Waag.

Digitized measuring
Developers Taco van Dijk and Mickael Boulay at Waag developed a mobile application to design a digital finger splint. With this tool, one can measure the finger at three places, and the application creates a tailor-made 3D-model that can be printed on location or send to a specialized company in medical 3D-printing.

"The prototype worked just as we wished for", tells Poortinga. The next step might be to maket the application, but the current prototype could already be used, for instance when finger joints have to be immobilized with patient suffering from rheumatism.