Making a difference to patients through innovation

By James Sopper, Chief Technical Officer at Isobar Compression

Our foundation is in innovation, bringing together 3D imaging with leading textile manufacturing to create our custom-fit Isobar Compression garments. We offer a premium experience to our customers and patients – premium service through in-person scanning at their home, office or preferred clinic to premium quality in manufacturing.

It’s important that we keep that premium service and innovation fresh, so my job is to ensure our imaging and production processes are constantly refined. We’ve recently launched a new 3D scanner in the field following feedback from our sales team and clinical partners.

Our existing scanner worked well for able-bodied people and for lower leg compression. But from our work with University Hospital of South Manchester and other medical clinics, we know there is a need for a scanner for patients who cannot stand for long – the elderly, those suffering with leg ulcers or the morbidly obese. We needed a scanner that would work for a patient sitting or lying down.

Plus, a lot of clinicians we work with wanted full leg scanning for thigh-length, custom-fit compression so we needed to change the range of the scans to capture an image of the whole leg. We’ve changed our scanner to a hand-held unit which allows the person scanning to move around a stable limb taking a 3D picture of the whole leg or arm.

When making these refinements, we’ve also managed to cut down the time of the imaging. 18 months ago, when I first started working for Isobar, the scanning process would take two minutes for each leg whereas now it takes just 10 seconds per limb. The software is surprisingly simple to use with a touch screen control.

We have many different people using the scanners across the globe, from strength and conditioning and performance staff in the sports world, to nurses in clinics. It’s so easy to use that one of our partner clinics have trained up the IT manager and receptionist to scan at busy times.

My background is in aeronautical engineering, designing and building pressure measurement systems for racing yachts and producing medical-grade devices where I have learned about quality control, regulations and traceability of parts. With Isobar Compression, I enjoy that such a simple piece of equipment can make such a difference to quality of life for so many people. A lot of medical devices for scanning cost millions of pounds, yet we can relatively cheaply make a real difference through our technology. We could save the NHS millions of pounds and have a real impact on self-care, which is an exciting proposition for us.