UNYQ is at the heart of a powerful documentary on scoliosis that aired for the first time on June 5th on ARTE, a French and German public television network.
Scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine, which affects more than 3 million people each year in the U.S. alone. The condition typically appears in adolescent girls, although children much younger can be impacted. Back bracing is the only available treatment to avoid surgery. The ARTE documentary looks at three key pillars for the next generation of scoliosis treatment: early detection, better bracing (featuring UNYQ) and less invasive surgery if treatment fails.
To tell the story, the documentary team traveled to San Francisco to meet with UNYQ, interview Viva Donohoe, an early user of the UNYQ Scoliosis Brace and learn more about our 3D modeling, printing and biomonitoring technology from our CEO, Eythor Bender.
In the film, Robin Donohoe, mother of Viva, explains how she suffered from scoliosis 40 years ago. For her, wearing the brace was like torture. And despite everything, Robin’s curve progressed to the point where she required an invasive spinal surgery to insert a metal rod alongside her spine.
Today Robin is very motivated to make sure her daughter does everything possible to avoid this surgery and make wearing her scoliosis brace as easy as possible. She learned about our innovative brace from Dr. Policy of Stanford’s Children’s Hospital, who has been on the forefront of new technologies to improve the treatment of this condition.
In the documentary, Dr. Policy explains how scoliosis braces work and why better designed braces lead to improved outcomes. For scoliosis treatment, compliance is really the name of the game. The more the brace is worn, the more likely you are to control the curve. Many young patients need to wear their brace for 20 – 22 hours a day.
The UNYQ Scoliosis Brace makes compliance easier with two key innovations. First, the unique 3D printed material that allows the brace to correct the curve while giving the wearer more room to breath. The intricate patterns make the brace more attractive to the user and also dramatically increase the brace’s breathability.
Secondly, we’ve introduced a biosensor chip that collects important data about the wearer including compliance monitoring information. This data helps motivate the wearer and gives the family and clinical team the information they need to maximize treatment potential.
The UNYQ Scoliosis Brace, 3D printed with biosensors integrated.