Ortho Dx: Where Does It Hurt?
Lost in the rush to develop better implants and devices to treat orthopedic injury is the need for better diagnostics capable of pinpointing injury and foretelling the onset of disease. A group of companies is working on just that.
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OrthoSensor is trying to bring a data-driven revolution to orthopedics. It is building a three-legged platform, with intelligent instruments, intelligent implants, and analytics, all driven by sensor and other micro-electronics technology that feed back to surgeons vital data both intra- and post-operatively. Critical to its strategy: that improving outcomes in orthopedic surgery rests on developing better, data-rich surgical techniques, rather than novel implants made of new materials or design features.
Low back pain affects 80% of Americans and is a leading cause of disability. Yet even though soft tissues including muscles are the primary source of this pain, many physicians neglect them and focus instead on spinal vertebrae, discs and nerves. And in cases where muscles are considered, pinpointing the exact muscle that causes the pain is extremely difficult with today's conventional diagnostic methods. The muscle pain detection device from SPOC Inc. (Stevens Proof of Concept) is noninvasive technology that uses electrical stimulation to diagnose muscle pain in any part of the body. The company believes its use will prevent many unnecessary spine surgeries that result in failed back surgery syndrome, which can occur in as many as 50% of cases.
Noteworthy news from medtech start-ups, including Ortho Kinematics, developing a diagnostic for spine function, and Glucotec, which can progam insulin pumps from blood glucose readings and automate insulin delivery.