Anyone who has broken a bone before knows how clunky casts can be—a broken ankle can leave you literally knee-deep in plaster! They’re also part-specific, meaning the same device that heals a broken arm can't fit a person's leg or ankle.
Now, a group of students from Tunghai University in Taiwan is putting all that in the past, thanks to a new invention called BoneAid. Unlike traditional casts, their versatile invention can be reconstructed to heal a multitude of broken bones; it also packs flat, which means that many BoneAid casts can be shipped to disaster areas without taking up valuable space. According to the designer’s estimates, one aid truck could fit 18,000 BoneAid casts compared to 500 part-specific casts.BoneAid is not yet available for widespread use, but the University students are continuing to work on product development for poorer countries and for areas affected by natural disasters.