A smart and stylish brace for adolescents with scoliosis
How does it work?
The brace is built with an aluminum back support and four adjustable side pieces that can be adjusted. It is built of translucent polylactic acid (PLA) together with padding available in five color options based on the unique style of the patient. This padding integrates an internal voronoi patterning to ensure comfort and allow body heat to ventilate. The designer used Grasshopper to create graceful and fabric-like patterns which wouldn’t make the user embarrassed if her brace was exposed. The perforations on the brace allows for the wearer to easily fit it from home. Then, a smart device connected to the brace allows the wearer’s development to be monitored through a dedicated app. Once the brace has outlasted its use, its rigid parts can be recycled. This is a unique feature as unlike typical braces used today, Airy is built without the use of synthetic glues.
Why is it needed?
Scoliosis is a lateral curvature in the spine, most commonly occurs in the years before puberty and is treated with a brace which wraps the torso and gradually guides the spine into place. Many braces currently in use are custom-fit to the user, meaning each will take a long time to make before it is quickly out-grown. The Airy not only changes with the wearer, but thanks to its impressive look, it makes the wearer feel more confident and looks like a fashion accessory.
How does it improve life?
The designer turned a medical device into a fashion statement, making the treatment of this common disease more acceptable and visible. On the other hand, it gives confidence to those who have to wear such a device, in addition to being easier and more comfortable to wear than its predecessors.