3D printing might seem like a novelty that hasn't yet found a practical application in the real world. But in the healthcare industry, 3D printing is rapidly changing the lives of amputees by providing affordable bionic prosthetics. Open source projects like The Open Hand Project are dedicated to making 3D printed robotic prosthetics more affordable at around $1,000 per person. That’s a fraction of the cost of a typical prosthetic, which can cost upwards of $100,000.
Startup company Project io wants to go the next step and take the guesswork out of fitting prosthetics. By scanning the patient's residual limb and complementary limb with an app named Anaken, amputees can ensure a better fitting prosthetic on the first try. Part of Project io's goal is to help trauma victims have easy and affordable access to well-fitting prosthetics with equipment they most likely already own, such as a smartphone or tablet.