Transparent face masks like the one pictured here help to speed healing and minimize scarring among patients suffering from severe burns by applying gentle, consistent pressure to inflamed facial tissues. But for patients who have recently sustained third-degree facial burns, schlepping across town to a scanning facility might not be a great option.
So Seattle-based CimMed makes bedside scans using handheld laser scanners. The mobile technicians email the data to headquarters, where it is used to construct a three-dimensional model of the patient's face. A rapid prototyping machine then builds the mask out of soft, flexible silicon gel. The entire process takes less than four hours.