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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Medical device innovations to watch in 2021

Health Industry Hub | April 23, 2021 |

MedTech News: Medical device companies will unveil some amazing innovations this year. These organisations are producing highly customised medical solutions in surgical robotics, smart orthopaedic implants and single-use scopes.

Medtronic: Hugo robotic surgery system

Despite the many benefits of robotic-assisted surgery (RAS), only 3% of surgeries around the world are done with the help of robots. Medtronic is aiming to shatter the barriers currently thwarting the adoption of this important technology.

Medtronic’s much-anticipated Hugo robotic surgery system will make its debut this year.

Medtronic anticipates Hugo’s launch outside the U.S. and Europe too with some initial revenue contribution expected to come into play during its fiscal 2021 fourth quarter. The Hugo system is meant to rival Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci robots.

“We feel really great about our platform, the feedback we’ve got, the open console, the modularity upgrade, ability to leverage of our surgical instrumentation,” Medical Surgical EVP and President, Bob White, said during a February earnings call.

Johnson & Johnson: Velys knee surgery robot

J&J’s DePuy Synthes expects to launch its Velys table-mounted knee robot this year in the U.S.

DePuy Synthes touts the Velys robotic-assisted platform as a first-of-its-kind, table-mounted solution with an efficient design capable of integrating into any operating room. The company said it adapts to a surgeon’s workflow, offers control they are used to, and helps execute accurate bony cuts.

DePuy Synthes company group chairman Aldo Denti said “A significant opportunity for combined robotic and digital surgery technology exists. Coupled with the Attune total knee, the Velys robotic-assisted solution is highly differentiated and can help improve clinical outcomes and increase patient satisfaction, providing a more attractive clinical solution to current options on the market.”

Velys system also offers gap balance data for visualisation and joint stability predictions, along with accurate, consistent plan execution supporting the Attune total knee system, according to J&J, which acquired the Velys system from its developer Orthotaxy in 2018.

Over time, J&J plans to integrate new technologies into the platform such as sensors, apps and patient selection tools, spanning orthopaedic care from pre-op planning to post-op rehabilitation.

Zimmer Biomet: Smart knee implant

Zimmer Biomet this year plans to launch the Persona-IQ, a next-gen version of its successful, personalised Persona knee implant that will incorporate the Canary Medical sensor – Canary Health Implantable Reporting Processor (CHIRP).

Zimmer Biomet appears to be at the forefront of smart implants. The Persona-IQ should start driving revenue growth in late 2021 and early 2022.

Information from sensors such as the CHIRP could decrease the number of times a patient needs to come back to the surgeon, and could even one day identify problems with an implant before they occur.

Olympus: A next-gen endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) bronchoscope

The next generation of Olympus’ endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) bronchoscope, UC190F, is designed to provide enhanced access and control to allow staging and diagnosis of difficult-to-reach lymph nodes and lesions in patients with lung cancer.

An improved endoscopic image with higher resolution offers better visualization in the airway to accurately identify anatomy landmarks and detect abnormalities, according to the company. The BF-UC190F’s real-time ultrasound imaging enables direct visualisation of the ViziShot 2 EBUS-TBNA needle as it penetrates the lymph node to optimise sample collection. A steeper needle puncture angle provides a more perpendicular needle orientation toward the target, allowing for smoother target penetration between cartilage rings and other critical vessels.

The new bronchoscope’s compact distal tip and increased scope angulation were designed to enhance manoeuvrability with better access to difficult-to-reach lymph node stations.

Olympus also plans to launch the single-use Nova lighted surgical instrument, designed to illuminate target tissue while reducing shadows and glare for precise minimally invasive and open surgery or work in deep pockets.

Boston Scientific: Single-use bronchoscope

Boston Scientific expects to launch a single-use bronchoscope, the Exalt Model B, later this year. It’s part of an industry trend away from reusable scopes that can be difficult to clean and may spread dangerous bacteria among patients.

Exalt Model B will be part of the company’s single-use imaging portfolio of diagnostic devices for use in gastroenterology procedures.

“We’ll launch the bronchoscope in the second half of 2021, and we believe this will be [a] nice $2 billion market for us,” CEO Michael Mahoney said. “And we think it will follow a very similar path ex-COVID as our urology scope did as well as our SpyGlass scope in endo as well.”

Smith+Nephew: Cementless knee implant

Smith+Nephew has a list of devices to debut this year from its orthopaedics, sports medicine & ENT and advanced wound management lines.

Topping the list is its first cementless knee implant, set to debut in the second half of the year, CEO Roland Diggelmann told investors in February.

“This is probably the one portfolio gap that we’ve needed to address. The aim is to access this high-growth segment, and is an important part of our plans to accelerate in Knees,” Diggelmann said.

The launch timelines of these innovative medical devices in Australia will depend on their regulatory approval status on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).


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