Sensors have revolutionized the world of healthcare, especially in the self-tracking world. Now they are also making their presence felt in the world of orthopedics.
Here are three sensor firms you should be aware of:
This Florida company has developed disposable sensors that can help surgeons during various orthopedic procedures. The first product that has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA is the OrthoSensor Knee Balancer that can" provide patient-specific kinematic information and evidence of stability, reducing misalignment and improving overall implant longevity." The sensors are not meant to permanently implanted in the body. The company raised $15 million in a Series B round in May 2012.
Once a product is implanted, getting information about the manufacturer, model, size of the implant in addition to who implanted it and when, may be difficult. This Pennsylvania firm hopes to change that. Ortho-tag, along with the University of Pittsburgh, has developed microchips that are mounted on to orthopedic implants at the time of surgery. The tags can then communiate wireleslly through the skin with the company's proprietary RFID reader called Touch Probe. Additionally, the company is developing biosensors that can be integrated with these transcutaneous near field tags which can tell doctors about the progress of a joint infection.
This Ohio startup, on the other hand, has created a sensor system that will be permanently implanted. Called the IntelliRod system, the sensor clamps on to a spinal fusion implant and tells surgeons the progress of the fusion over time. It is meant to be an alternative to expensive CT scans that are recommended for patients who complain of continuting pain following the surgery to get a fuller understanding of the condition of the fusion. But OrthoData can eliminate the need for those scans that aside from being expensive also expose the paitent to unnecessary radiation. The sensor can transmit informaiton to a hand held reader the company is developing. Orthodata recently raised $1.1 million. The product has not been cleared by the FDA.
Sensors will be a seminar topic at the MD&M East Conference, June 17-20, in Philadelphia organized by the publisher of MD+DI?
-- By Arundhati Parmar, Senior Editor, MD+DI