For over 100 years, elastic bandages have been used to treat muscle sprains and strains. They reduce blood flow to an area by the application of even, stable pressure, which can restrict swelling at the place of injury. Even though these elastic bandages have been universally adopted, wrapping them correctly can be a challenge and there are no metrics to help guide patients to recovery. There is a need for an adaptive wrap that can adjust compression based on user needs and offer data points to help them with injury recovery.
Research & Insights
Research & Insights
Wrap It Fast
Our research revealed that, with elastic wrap support, the first 48-hour period after an injury is crucial in decreasing swelling and controlling pain. Early intervention allows for fast, proper recovery. For best medical results, it’s essential to protect the injury, load it with ice, and compress and elevate it within that critical timeframe.
The product includes a smart bandage and digital app to provide a universal solution that is completely customizable and dynamic. It supports the user through key points of recovery, from an initial injury through the reactivation and rehab process. Physically, the bandage dynamically adjusts to fit the specific target joint, utilizing shape memory alloy technology, to provide optimal support and adjustment when needed. Digitally, embedded sensors collect multiple data points and give specific suggestions on what to do during all the different steps of the crucial 48-hour post-injury treatment time. Tracking functions monitor use and overuse, to ensure protection of the injured body part and optimal loading, which promotes healing. The Reflex SmartWrap builds on the universal heritage of traditional compression support by making it more adaptable and intelligent, guiding the user through the recovery process.
Through a guided app tutorial, the user is taught how to wrap the Reflex SmartWrap based on the specific type of injury and support he requires. Users are also given a pressure meter that can detect if they are in the ideal pressure zone so they do not wrap too tightly.
The user can dynamically loosen or tighten the bandage through the app or by interacting with the detachable module. Once wrapped on the body, this compression can be achieved through the shape-memory alloy woven into the bandage—it can easily expand or contract with the push of a button on the attached battery.
Reflex SmartWrap will coach the user throughout the recovery process by giving up-to-date information on swelling, temperature, and blood flow. A goal zone lets the user see where she should be at any particular point in the path to recovery and offers advice on icing and stretching.
As the user begins to transition back into everyday activity, Reflex will continue to monitor range of motion, swelling, temperature, and blood flow. The removable module communicates this to the user’s phone via Bluetooth and he receives coaching suggestions and a schedule to finish a healthy recovery.
The Reflex SmartWrap is a concept that calls attention to the frequency of minor muscle strains and joint sprains, and proposes an intelligent solution that provides the user with control over her experience, treats the injury quickly, and guides this athlete through recovery. This is a Continuum concept project, and therefore is not currently on the market. However, our team is excited about its potential and is currently exploring next steps for the project. If interested, contact us to learn more or to help support the project.