New technology will allow PAL Health to get “the truest representation of a patient’s foot to make an orthotic.”
PAL Health Technologies is beginning to use a new scanning app and positive milling for its functional foot orthoses and custom diabetic inserts that will result in a more precise representation of each patient’s foot as well as quicker turnaround time.
The technology, by the company Taika 3D, is a new scanning app that also gives PAL the capability to get a positive mill of the patient’s foot, from which an orthotic will be fabricated.
“I’m just really excited about this,” said Josh Robertson, PAL Health vice president of research and development. “This is a perfect example of how PAL is ready and willing to adjust and adapt to the needs of our patients. This app and positive milling will allow us to give the most custom orthotic possible for the patients.”
Until now, PAL has been using Taika’s scan sizing abilities for diabetic inserts only but the new Taika scanning app has not been available from the Apple App Store.
Instead, podiatrists and physical therapists have been using plaster casts or Biofoams to get impressions of patient’s feet. That can be messy, Robertson said. Then, the plaster casts and Biofoams are delivered via UPS to PAL Health Technologies’ lab and that delivery takes one to four days.
The new application is “mess free and, by using this application, we are guaranteeing that we will get them one to four days faster,” Robertson said.
The Taika 3D process will require podiatrists and physical therapists to download the Taika app from the Apple App Store. Then, PAL Health can set them up with a user name and pass word so they can use the new app, Robertson said. The medical providers also will need an iPad and an Occipital sensor which is used the scan the foot.
PAL’s existing 3D app, Xtremity 3D, will be replaced with Xtremity 3D by PAL, Robertson said. “The new and improved Xtremity 3D by PAL will be even more user friendly and will allow us to make an even more accurate orthotic,” he said.
With the new technology, the podiatrist or physical therapist will fill out the patient information, then scan the patient’s feet using an iPad with the new Xtremity 3D app created by Taika, Robertson said.
After the feet are scanned, the medical professional will fill out an order form in that app and send it to PAL electronically. “We’ll get the order within 10 minutes of them submitting it,” Robertson said.
When the order is received, PAL staff will evaluate the scans to make sure they are good representations of the feet. If so, “we’ll take the scan and turn it into an electronic file that will be used by the router to mill out the positives of the feet,” Robertson said. “Once the positives are milled out, we can press the selected shell material directly onto those positives.”
Cast and sizing work in the lab should be reduced because the program will do the sizing, Robertson said.
“It’ll help reduce orders being returned to us for adjustments,” he said.
The new program is available immediately for functional foot orthoses and custom diabetic inserts and should be available for ankle-foot orthoses by the end of the year.
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Paul Swiech is vice president of communications with PAL Health Technologies. Before he joined PAL, he was a newspaper reporter for 37 years. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family and exercising.