A Michigan woman hopes her invention can brighten the days of those on the mend from broken bones and other ailments.
Dealing with a broken bone and a bulky cast can be a miserable experience. One businesswoman hopes her invention can bring some cheer to medical equipment.
Now people can cover up the messages scrawled on their casts or decorate their wheelchair with a variety of designs thanks to Tracie Wood's ingenuity.
Wood, manager at the Bellus Salon & Spa in Adrian, developed Shrinkins, reusable shrinkable art skins that can be wrapped around a cast, wheelchair, walker or other similar medical equipment. Then the user blow-dries the film it to shrink it to fit.
“You can cover up an old cast that had been written on and make it look clean again,” Wood said.
Shrinkins also help protect the item from water, she said, which means it can also be sanitized and wiped down.
Wood, 37, said she came up with the idea while working with one of her clients. As they were talking she thought there should be tattoos for casts. That idea evolved to using shrink film with full-color designs.
Her idea kept growing.
“Wouldn’t it be neat if you could decorate wheelchairs and walkers?” she thought.
Kids could change the design on their wheelchair every month if they wanted to, she said. She shared the idea with her family.
“I thought that (idea) must be out there,” she said.
But Wood found it wasn’t.
She did a patent search. Now her product is patent pending.
Wood researched where she could get shrinkable film that would work, and she had to find tape that would shrink.
The Shrinkins Web site refers to the product as “the healing art.” Wood explained some studies show laughter and happiness promotes physical health. She also said guided imagery, using positive images, can bring about healthful changes.
Shrinkins aren’t just for humans. Wood said they can be used for animal casts, too.
If someone’s cat breaks a leg, the owner can apply the hummingbird design on the cast, she said. The hummingbird design is one of 16 designs that will be available to order online at www.shrinkins.com on July 1. The designs include pink zebra, gold leopard, hummingbird, camouflage, fairies and sports.
“There is something for everyone in these 16 designs,” she said.
Shrinkins will have ship dates soon for stores that are interested in selling the product, she said. The business is starting with online sales.
Wood said she hopes the to sell the product at pharmacies, hospitals and doctors’ offices in the next 30 days. Donations are also on the horizon.
“Our plan is to go to different children’s hospitals and donate to different kids and just make (them) smile.”