Innovations in boat design, general increase in athleticism and entertainment value of Olympics and other international water sports have resulted in high-speed boating and sailing. While this increases the competitiveness and makes the sport exciting to watch, high speed sailing can make the bot unstable, resulting in collisions, capsizing and pose danger to the sailors. One imminent danger to the sailors is the stress put on the joints of the lower extremities – the knees, ankles and feet.
Currently, sailors use rigid foot straps that tether the sailors firmly to the boat. However, when the boat and the sailors are subjected to enormous deceleration forces that are common at high speeds, the rigid braces cause the sailors to be brutally flung forward. This can naturally cause significant injuries to the sailors' feet. A novel product, Quick-release foot strap, has been developed by the Singapore hospital to address the specific challenges elaborated above.
Unlike traditional rigid foot straps, this new method harnesses the same forces, and passes them on in a controlled manner. Thus, when the sailors are subjected to rapid deceleration, the strap is powered by the sailors' momentum, and enables the slow and gentle release of the feet from the strap. This foot strap when used in competitive high performance boats, specifically the 49er and 49er FX, significantly reduces injuries in sailors. This foot strap can be introduced in varied types of boats (e.g. the Olympic catamaran class, the Nacra 17) and boards (e.g. kitesurfing boards, windsurfing boards, wakeboarding boards).
The hospital is interested in establishing license agreements and research cooperation agreements with partner from the healthcare industry, such as an SME of any size to commercialise the technology, or with a research institute for further R&D.