With ever increasing cost-pressure and requirements from regulators to show the efficacy of new arthroplasty (joint replacement) devices, the International Society for Technology in Arthroplasty has become a more relevant conference than ever before. With a mix of orthopedic surgeons, academics and representatives from the industry, the conference was a great opportunity to have fruitful discussions about new and ongoing topics in arthroplasty. We look back at the highlights and the lessons learned.
Advances in the Industry
In the 'Advances from Industry' session, five renowned speakers from the medical industry (Smith & Nephew, Zimmer-Biomet, Orthosensor, Microport and Materialise) were invited to speak on how they see innovation in the orthopedic device market in the coming years. Although the talks came from various angles, some common themes emerged. The traditional design cycle for an orthopedic implant, consisting of collecting design input, designs, as well as building and testing with several iterations, can easily take ten years with traditional manufacturing. A new, more contemporary way of looking at the design cycle was presented; one in which almost all steps are performed virtually. Multibody dynamic simulations and finite element analyses are techniques that could play a large role in this vision.
Other topics that were discussed in the session were regulations, cost and recent consolidations in the orthopedic market. Our colleague Mike Lawrenchuk had the honor of giving a presentation during the session. He talked about Materialise's solutions for patient-specific treatment and device R&D. These include our joint replacement guides, cranio-maxillofacial implants and guides, anatomical data mining services as well as the X-ray module in the Materialise Mimics Innovation Suite. Several other hot topics at the ISTA 2016 meeting included hip implant positioning and a range of motion measurements, and the ongoing paradigm shift in the economics of healthcare, in which reimbursement for devices is becoming more and more scrutinized, increasing the need to gather evidence for the performance of implants.