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Benefits of Scanning for Medical Professionals
(aka Computer Aided Design, or "CAD")
CAD has been available to O&P professionals for a number of years. The trouble is success has been modest and has really only helped us ring efficiencies out of the process. Saving money because we no longer have to ship a cast for fabrication is a good thing but what, really, is that doing to improve care? Because CAD software has been complicated, only computer savvy clinicians can operate many of these systems. Example, how many of us can navigate through MS-DOS computer systems? By the way, some CAD providers still use DOS operating systems!
Thanks to our partnership with Rodin4D, we have focused our CAD program (Windows based) on making CAD (1) easy and (2) integral to outcomes & subsequently in improving our care. We believe if we truly know what our outcomes are, no matter how good already, these outcomes WILL GET BETTER.
Here is an example of how we use CAD for cranial remolding outcomes. No other CAD system has this capability, to compare the exact same cross-section of the skull on two different scans (original base line scan & 6 week follow-up scan, for example). Talk about knowing how the patient is progressing!
Other exciting areas are in the realm of limb volume. A simple report can be generated to document a prosthetic patientís limb volume changes over time. This certainly aids in justification of new liners, sockets & the like however longterm it will provide us a better understanding of the progression of limb volume changes. Perhaps being better able to predict these changes we can improve care by getting to the right liner sooner AND also save time & money by not having as much trial & error.
Rodin4D has even greater benefits in that you can easily import pictures of the patient. This includes the ability to import X-Rays!
This capability makes the placement of pad pressure & relief areas more accurate & relevant for that patientís exact needs. This development has led us to working with others & the goal of that collaboration is that in the near future we have a tool that will give us the predicted outcome of a particular brace design for a specific patientís curve. Therefore, we can improve the design prior to fitting in order to achieve the best possible outcome. Technology is wonderful, if you embrace it that is!
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