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From Pueblo to outer space: New cast/splint technology traverses the nation and the stars

PUEBLO – To innovation, AND BEYOND! ActivArmor, a Pueblo startup, is expanding across the nation and was recently recognized by NASA as having potential uses among the stars.

It’s safe to say that all broken arms have stories behind them. However, broken arms with plastic casts have stories on them as well.

This piece of unique medical equipment is made using two things: advanced printing and the science of 3D body scans.

“It’s accurate to the half millimeter of your body image,” commented Diana Hall, founder and creator of ActivArmor.

Once the scan is complete, the data is put into a 3D printer.  After some time, a waterproof and breathable cast is created.

“So customization really is the future of manufacturing here in the US, in my opinion, especially in medicine,” continued Ms. Hall.

Now all this innovation is near and dear to the heart of its creator.

“My brother had cystic fibrosis, so I spent a lot of time in children’s hospitals growing up. I knew I was meant to help people who had chronic conditions or who have some sort of health issue where they need to have their quality of life improved.”

That knowledge set her down a path that has her expanding across the country.

“We’ve opened up 8 clinics across the country, we’re looking at 4 more this year.”

During September, while the group continued expansion on earth, NASA recognized their potential for more.

In September, Activ Armor, alongside 25 other companies, made it to the semifinals for the NASA iTech initiative, a program dedicated to seeking out technologies that can address issues that may be faced in future space exploration.

For example, one of the issues future explorers might face is a finite amount of space for the necessary equipment.

“When you have 3D printing in space, you just take the raw materials and make whatever you need.”

Back here on this planet, this Pueblo startup’s next steps will result in a clinic opening in Denver by the end of the year.

Additionally, Hall hopes that she and her team can create a wider variety of casts, “I would hope to see it able to immobilize any body part,” commented Ms. Hall.

Eventually, Hall hopes ActivArmor is everywhere.

“This will never fully replace casting and splinting, but what this does is it gives you another alternative.”

An alternative that she wishes to be the standard of care.

“My goal is to move this forward to be a point of service model. where you can walk into a clinic, you get a scan, and your device is manufactured there and put on you in a matter of hours,” Hall said.

Jon McMichael

Jon McMichael

Jon McMichael is the digital reporter for KOAA. He's been with the station since October 2017.
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