The orthopedic device market is expected to reach nearly $70 billion by 2027, largely driven by a growing elderly population and the rising prevalence of orthopedic disorders like osteoporosis. You’re probably already familiar with the major players in the orthopedics industry, like robotics giant Stryker and Johnson & Johnson’s orthopedics franchise DePuy Synthes. Although these long-lived corporations dominate market growth in the industry, smaller orthopedic companies have capitalized on the latest technological advancements to turn orthopedic innovation on its head.
To meet the changing demands in the industry, the top orthopedic companies have focused on improving existing technology, like robotics and implants. But several smaller players in the orthopedics industry have turned to emerging technology, from artificial intelligence to 3D printing, to develop novel solutions to common challenges in the field.
Seeing what’s on the horizon in these orthopedic companies inspires a forward-thinking approach to patient care. Keep up with new developments, and you will discover the latest technology to set your practice apart from your competitors.
Medical device manufacturer Embody created the first collagen-based orthopedic implant that mimics the structure and chemistry of natural collagen to treat tendon injuries. Approved by the FDA in 2020, the TAPESTRY Biointegrative Implant triggers the body’s healing processes to form new, dense collagenous tissue. Traditionally, tendon repair has centered around mechanical solutions rather than biologic augmentation. But unlike mechanical repairs, the TAPESTRY implant actually augments a patient’s existing tendons and ligaments to support better, faster healing and functional outcomes.
Repairing tendon injuries, particularly in the Achilles, rotator cuff, and ACL tendons, is very challenging, given the higher chances of re-tearing these injuries. For massive rotator cuff injuries, the re-tear rate after arthroscopic repair can reach 94% — far above an acceptable level for orthopedic surgeons or their patients. Furthermore, a revision procedure is much more difficult and often less effective, which reduces patient satisfaction.
Embody’s TAPESTRY implant resolves many of the common issues with tendon repair, like poor healing rates and the rejection of inferior tissue taken from the patient or a cadaver. Instead of suturing the tendon to the bone, you can install the TAPESTRY implant. After the procedure, it will gradually resorb and leave behind new tissue to augment the existing tendon. With this implant, you can avoid using autografts, which require an additional surgical site and may extend a patient’s healing time. It also reduces the likelihood of reoperation, which can be costly for patients with no guarantee of success.
Exer Health, a digital health company, has brought next-generation artificial intelligence to any mobile device so orthopedic surgeons and other providers can capture accurate motion data from patients both in-person and remotely. With just a smartphone camera, Exer Health measures patient performance metrics like range of motion, reps, and adherence to home exercise protocols (HEPs). Range of motion is particularly applicable to post-surgery patients.
Orthopedic surgeons often go weeks between seeing patients. Without visibility of a patient’s day-to-day recovery, you might not realize that their treatment plan isn’t effective until much later, prolonging the process even further. If a patient isn’t healing well after surgery or their rehabilitation isn’t progressing as expected, you need to intervene sooner rather than later. Exer's simple mobile app gets your real-time objective data that didn't previously exist.
Exer Health enables remote therapeutic monitoring to give you deeper insight into a patient’s recovery. After collecting motion data and other patient-reported outcomes (PROs), Exer Health generates personalized progress reports so both you and your patients can see how they’re doing throughout their recovery. The software doesn’t require any additional equipment, so you can start using it with patients right away. Plus, the Exer Physio mobile app will send daily or weekly prompts to remind patients to complete their HEPs and submit self-reported data like pain levels, which strengthens patient engagement.