I was the furthest thing from athletic before I started running. When I was younger, just running around my block was enough to keep me horizontal for a week. Getting good at running took some years, gallons of water, and a lot of injuries. Runner’s knee, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, to name a few. Injuries come with the hustle though and they’re expected in every sport, so tending to them is essential for a long athletic career. Achyut Shanbhag designed ICEHEAL, a portable, hot-and-cold physical therapy device, to provide athletes with immediate relief and support a speedy recovery period.

ICEHEAL allows users to choose either hot or cold therapy based on a built-in electronic system. Shanbhag utilized the Peltier effect to create a dual-temperature physical therapy device. The Peltier device is essentially a thermoelectric heat pump with a voltage at its core that creates an electric current, transferring heat energy between two electrical junctions, to be either absorbed for cooling or emitted for heating. Layered inside ICEHEAL, Shanbhag integrated a heating coil for heat conversion, a heat sink for cooling, and a copper plate for even heat distribution. These components work to either absorb or emit heat, offering cooling or heating for various sports injuries, and can be adjusted using the temperature control knob. In order to ensure immediate pain relief for athletes, Shanbhag equipped ICEHEAL with a 12V lithium polymer rechargeable battery, enhancing the product’s portability as well. ICEHEAL’s compact shape and mobile reliability let athletes bring it with them on-the-go to the weekend’s big home game or just for a long, solo trail run. Opting for an ergonomic shape and feel, Shanbhag ultimately decided on giving ICEHEAL a circular shape, a liquid gel surface for soft application, and an attached cotton belt for compression.

When we get injured, either alone in the gym or under stadium lights, our initial response is usually movement – just walk it off. If we’re walking it off all the way to the doctor’s office or just skipping around in place before having another go at it, valuable recovery time is lost. Achyut Shanbhag designed ICEHEAL in order to make use of that time, to provide athletes with in-real-time relief, in order to sustain productive healing, making for a less frustrating recovery period and more time on the trail. Speaking of which, it’s about time I get running.

Designer: Achyut Shanbhag

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