A South Australian-made foldable splint is the latest product to benefit from the State Government-funded Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) at Flinders University.

Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher says the ‘CAS Splint’, made by local company Fluoro Medical Pty Ltd and set to be launched later this year, will be manufactured in large quantities in South Australia.

“The splint features an innovative design to stabilise and support injured limbs. It’s also waterproof and compact enough to fit into an everyday first aid kit,” he says.

“The company says the project could create up to 25 jobs during the next three to five years.

“The State Government funding – through the Medical Technologies Program – will provide 250 hours of research and development assistance from the Flinders MDPP, together with 30 hours of market intelligence which can be utilised by Fluoro Medical to craft a business case and commercialisation strategy at a later stage.”

Research undertaken by the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare indicates 65 per cent of falls result in the fracture of limbs, and currently the most common way to secure a limb is by using sling bandages with cardboard splints not found in most first-aid kits.

Because of the nature of the materials used in that process, the resulting support can easily succumb to moisture damage and, if applied incorrectly, even exacerbate the injury.

MDPP Director, Professor Karen Reynolds, says experts from Flinders University’s Medical Device Partnering Program will run trials of the splint, which will help Fluoro Medical through the final development phase.

“The MDPP will undertake an end-user trial and survey to validate the current design of the splint and make recommendations for design modifications as required,” says Professor Reynolds.

Fluoro Medical was also recently awarded an Accelerating Commercialisation grant from the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science for the splint.

The company will use this funding to establish manufacturing options, develop training materials, operational costs and initial production runs – keeping much of the work in South Australia where possible.