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Innovations and Novel Manufacturing Techniques to Hold the Future for Orthotic Devices

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Innovations and Novel Manufacturing Techniques to Hold the Future for Orthotic Devices

January 06
01:16 2015

The past year has witnessed a surge in the number of innovations in the orthotic device industry, owing to growing demand for affordable and efficient orthoses. Traditional orthotics have been in use since many decades and have proved to be efficient across a wide range of users. However, these devices don’t meet the growing demands of the ever-growing patient pool. There is a continuous demand for orthotic devices that are highly durable, comfortable, efficient and more importantly, low-cost and light-weighted.

Till the last five years, orthotic devices market was restricted to the traditional fabrication and modeling techniques. However, the advancing technologies and development of innovative manufacturing and modeling methods have revolutionized the industry. Even though, a majority of the companies still use the old methods of modeling such as impressions and molding to measure and manufacture a custom-made orthotic device, there is an increase in use of newer methods such as 3D imaging/3D printing and pressure sensing technologies which enable accurate measurement of parts of patient’s body.

3D printing will make possible the availability of orthotic devices that can be printed and assembled by the patients in the convenience of their homes.The market is already witnessing the use of novel modeling techniques and smart phone apps that allow patients to get diagnosed through phone and fabricate orthotic devices through a 3D printer. Another upcoming technology to design and model orthotic devices is the computer-aided designing and manufacturing (CAD and CAM) technique. CAD/CAM allows the manufacturer to test the prototypes before producing the devices in bulk. Although this technology is not a very recent one, it is slowly gaining momentum in the orthotics segment and is expected to grow significantly in a couple of years.

Pricing is another important factorwhich plays a key role in the buying decisions of consumers. Demand for affordable and low-cost orthotics has propelled research in the field of material sciences to develop innovative raw materials that are more durable, light-weight and comfortable. A cost-effective technology such as automation of orthotic manufacturing is one such trend that is expected to significantly bring down the cost of the final products by ensuring faster production of orthotic devices.

Such innovations are likely to reduce material wastage, time and labor to a great extent. Reduced cost of technology and material wastage will make these devices cheaper and affordable, and the products will also be lighter, safer, easier to use, durable and more aesthetic. Though the major innovations in the industry are contributed by the key players such as DJO Global Inc., Otto Bock, Össur, DeRoyal Industries, Bauerfeind AG owing to availability of significant amount of funds for R&D activities and a dedicated infrastructure for these operations, however, growing number of innovations have allowed smaller- and medium-sized companies including the research institutes to expand their patent portfolio significantly. As a result, the industry is witnessing emergence of many creative startup companies that will bring down the cost, leading to availability of novel and affordable orthotic devices in the future.

This article is an extract from the Global Orthotic Devices market report from IndustryARC. To know more about this study and to request for Sample Data / Brochure, please click the below link:

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