Evoke is a disruptive product that gives us a strong competitive edge. Thanks to 3D printing, it’s the lightest product on the market and it has an unparalleled level of personalization for our patients.
Having this product provided sustainable growth with more than 1,700 braces sold in the first year of operation. It also sets up a business model that can be replicated in various other orthotic applications like foot and ankle orthotics.
Having a digital operational chain reduces: waste, lead time, labor and therefore cost.
Without SpecifX, the whole business model wouldn’t hold up. Caboma’s engineering team is very knowledgeable. Nothing would have been possible without them.
The greatest obstacle to the efficiency of a knee brace is the fact that patients don’t wear them. According to a vast study, the major reasons for this bad patient compliance are: it’s either too heavy or the fit is not good and therefore the brace moves while walking and the patient needs to constantly re-strap the brace. This last phenomenon is called “migration” of the brace.
OssKin is a division of Medicus, the largest network of orthotic clinics in Canada and it is known for its appetite for innovation. They wanted to create a completely personalized brace that would give the right amount of support while preventing any migration. They also wanted to get rid of the traditional casting method that takes time, is unprecise and waste a lot of material. Unfortunately, all traditional manufacturing processes couldn’t give them the ability to personalize the product at the level they wanted. They felt that scanning and 3D printing could bring solutions to their problems. They turned to Caboma to benefit from our knowledge and our robust personalization platform: SpecifX
Caboma’s development team met with the clinical experts at OssKin to understand the needs and challenges related to the application. With Caboma’s expertise and OssKin’s medical and commercial knowledge, the co-creation of the Evoke knee brace ensued. It started by reengineering the product to increase it’s strength and overall functionality while decreasing it’s weight and therefore it’s cost. Various components were integrated in the printed structure. This helped reduce the number of parts in the assembly to improve cost and lead time.
The brace was validated by simulation, physical testing and clinical testing to ensure it would hold the patients properly
Caboma created a custom workflow that incorporates scan rectification, a landmarks system, instantaneous 3D model personalization and manufacturing info.
The mass customization process is handled by specialized super-users at Medicus. Their role is to interpret the patients’ scans received from the clinics around the country and personalize an Evoke knee brace on every of those scans. The customization takes into account a lot of medical considerations. Therefore the core competencies of the super-users are clinical, not engineering. The workflow is simplified and yet still very versatile with a lot of possible modifications: scan rectification, realignment, local compression, control on the height of the straps, etc.
SpecifX incorporates a machine learning system that helps understand the scan and propose modifications. So far, a database of around 2,000 scans (and still growing) from the patients are being accumulated and analyzed to improve the modeling.
- In its first year, OssKin has sold more than 2000 Evoke knee braces to other rehabilitation clinics in the province of Quebec only. OssKin will start distributing Evoke in the rest of North America.
- Evoke is an unique product with disruptive high benefits: light weight, reduced migration, comfort and good patient compliance, which results to a strong competitive edge for OssKin in this market.
- Digital mass customization allows for more control compared to traditional model. Since everything is digital, it’s now possible to apply very precise modifications. They can as well: better track the different steps, improve their operations while reducing errors and provide exact replacement parts to customers.
- Evoke is just the beginning. Digital mass customization of orthotics is a scalable business model with reduced fixed costs. It opens to other applications like foot and ankle-foot orthotics.