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Ohio Orthopedics Startup Snags $1.1M to Develop its Spine Diagnostic Device

Akron, Ohio-based OrthoData Inc. has received $250,000 from JumpStart to further develop its implantable diagnostic system for spine surgeons.

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Ohio Orthopedics Startup Snags $1.1M to Develop its Spine Diagnostic Device

Ohio-based OrthoData Inc. announced Thursday that it has received $250,000 from JumpStart, a nonprofit entity that provides funding and business assistance to entrepreneurs, to further develop its diagnostic system for spine surgeons. The money is part of a $1.1 million Series B round that the company raised. 

Seven other investors participated in the round. They are six private invividuals and Akron BioInvestments Funds. OrthoData has also relocated to Cleveland. Cleveland and its surrounding area provides access to many advantages including access to a strong orthopedic infrastructure, a solid manufacturing infrastructure with medical device expertise, expert spine surgeons and a better climate in which to attract investment, believes OrthoData President & CEO Ric Navarro.

OrthoData's device can be used to determine how successful a spinal fusion procedure has been and the goal is to remove the need for further "exploratory surgery." The device thereby has the potential to speed up the patient's resumption of normal life.


"OrthoData's technology has the potential to transform the postoperative management of spine implant patients," says Michael Lang, JumpStart Venture Partner, in a news release. "By providing early indication if the spine is or is not fusing, surgeons can intervene with alternative therapies sooner."

According to OrthoData's website, one conventional method of knowing the status of spinal fusion is thin slice CT scans, which is not only expensive but also exposes the patient to radiation.

This led OrthoData to come up with the IntelliRod system, which is an implantable microelectronic spine fusion sensor. The sensor picks up information on the amount of load being placed on the rod to which it’s attached. That tells physicians how strong the new bone that is growing is. Monitoring the load and seeing whether the bone is declining over time, provides the status of the fusion without the need for exploratory surgery or multiple X-Rays or CT scans.  

"Up to 30 percent of post-operative patients experience continuing pain," says Navarro, in the news release. Determining the cause of this pain—which can occur due to incomplete fusion of the vertebrae—often requires further surgery, slowing patients' recovery time. "OrthoData's IntelliRod system allows surgeons to track the outcome of the initial fusion surgery without invasive procedures and with less radiation exposure to the patient."

Before this round, the company raised $1.1 million in a Series A round and was based in Louisville. The technology was commercialized out of the University of Louisville.

OrthoData's founders believe that the company has developed an innovative diagnostic tool that can aid in the monitoring of how spinal procedures progress over time.

Innovations in the orthopedics field will be a topic of discussion at the 2013 OrthoTec Conference and Exhibition, June 5-6 organized by the publisher of MDDI in Warsaw, IN. 

-- By Arundhati Parmar, Senior Editor, MD+DI

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