Successful completion of the first phase of the pioneering project in Spain against scoliosis
After months of testing, we have closed with positive results the first phase of the pioneering project in Spain in which, through digital technologies and 3D printing, our firm together with a consortium of companies has developed a corset for patients with scoliosis in the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (HUCA).
According to the "Ageing Strategy of the Principality of Asturias (ESTRENA)", approved by the regional government on 12 April 2018, at national level, Asturias has one of the most ageing populations in Spain with a population over 65 years of age of over 20%, expecting an increase to 33.10% in 2031. Added to this ageing is a progressive worsening of the perception of health as age increases.
According to the European Health Survey in Spain 2020, the results of which are published by the National Institute of Statistics, among the most prevalent illnesses (or chronic health problems) in Spain over 15 years of age, chronic lumbar back pain is in third place. For this reason, the importance of caring for the back as a whole, and more particularly for the spine, at an early age, as well as throughout adult life, is essential and can condition the appearance of other pathologies. In this sense, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is the most frequent spinal deformity assessed in primary care by paediatricians and family doctors and in specialised care by rehabilitation doctors and orthopaedic surgeons.
Idiopathic scoliosis is a pathological entity defined radiographically as a lateral curve of the spine with an angular value equal to or greater than 10º with vertebral rotation
Idiopathic scoliosis is a pathological entity defined radiographically as a lateral curve of the spine with an angular value equal to or greater than 10º (measured by the Cobb method), with vertebral rotation and of unknown aetiology. This type of scoliosis is the most common form of scoliosis, accounting for 80-90%, and develops in a spine with no previous alterations.
In this context, eHealth is a project that aims to apply digital technologies to prevent the onset of chronic diseases that are more prevalent in the region, such as scoliosis.
Through eHealth, a pilot project has been developed in which digital technologies (such as sensors and wearables, advanced data analysis, telemedicine and telecare, assistive robotics and gamification, among others) can reduce the difficulties currently encountered in the treatment, monitoring, follow-up and awareness of idiopathic scoliosis in adolescents.
This project, a pioneer in Spain, has already been tested on the first adolescents with positive results, although the project is expected to reach its final conclusions within two years. The initiative responds to limitations during the treatment process of a disease that affects 3% of the Spanish population, mainly adolescents between 10 and 19 years of age.
"The eHealth project has allowed us to demonstrate the potential of digital technologies to solve some of the existing shortcomings in the current treatments for this pathology and in how the patient is monitored. Contrary to what one might think, the main conclusion is that digitalisation helps to 'humanise' the relationship between the patient and the doctor," has highlighted our Innovation consultant, Nuria Rodríguez.
This has been possible thanks to the collaboration between technological experts and medical specialists in the field, creating synergies that have yielded very satisfactory results. In this way, it is possible to help "the young people of today to be the healthy adults and seniors of tomorrow, or the adults of today to be the healthy seniors of tomorrow".
This project is part of the collaboration agreement signed between our firm and the Fundación para la Investigación y la Innovación del Principado de Asturias (FINBA) for the generation of innovation projects applied to biomedical technology, new ways of research through enabling scientific specialties (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning or Bioprinting) and new joint funding opportunities.