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The Foundations of Phits

Evidence for the algorithm based corrections


In this article you can find more about the science behind Phits, but before that we want to give you a short insight in the actual purpose of Phits: Why are we using 
3D printing to create foot orthotics? 

Phits Insoles are produced by RS PRINT, a joint venture of two Belgian companies, both world class leaders in their field:

  • rs scan international (www.rsscan.com), specializing in the field of gait and even body analysis, globally respected for their footscan pressure plate and gait analysis software. 
  • Materialise (www.materialise.com), a pioneer and leader in 3D print applications and software.

RS Print was founded to produce the best possible orthotic based on dynamic gait scanning. Rs scan international had previously developed the so called D3D orthotics, directly based on the footscan analysis: a modular system to create orthotics with EVA components. The results were excellent, but it faced some challenges: labor intensive, difficult to reproduce, a bit bulky and limited durability.
Phits is the 3D print 2.0 of the D3D orthotics, using the same logic and the same algorithms. 

Why 3D printing?
Rs scan was looking for a solution to tackle the above issues: they wanted automated, reproducible, more accurate and above all more durable orthotics. They found that 3D printing offered great possibilities, but they needed a solid partner to meet durability, accuracy, scalability and automation requirements. Enter Materialise.
It is important to understand that Phits is not merely copying the D3D system, but adds value for the following reasons:

  • Durability of the printed base 
  • Reproducibility due to automizing design and manufacturing
  • Ability to integrate intrinsic dynamic  corrections in one single material, resulting in a very thin and light orthotic.

At the base of Phits: scientific research
In general, there is little scientific research and literature about the effect of foot orthotics, but there is scientific evidence about footscan and about the effect of the D3D orthotics, the Phits’ predecessors.
In 2011, dr. Andrew Franklyn-Miller conducted two research projects in the British Navy:

  • Testing the predictive value of the footscan risk analysis

The study taught us that we can use the Footscan® pressure plate and gait analysis software to predict lower limb injury risks, based on the subject’s dynamic pressure scan. Of course, not every ‘high’ risk patient will eventually have an injury. The opposite goes for a ‘low’ risk patient, they also have the potential of developing a lower limb injury. However, the calculation of the system and the prediction derived from it, are a great tool to give feedback to your patients.

  • Foot orthoses to prevent injuries during military training

In the second study of Dr. Franklyn Miller, there was a proven reduction of the injury rate by providing the ‘medium’ and ‘high’ risk subjects with orthotics based on the same algorithm. ‘Medium’ and ‘high’ risk subjects in the control group who were not wearing these orthotics, had up to 60% more injuries than subjects with the algorithm based orthotics.
 

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