Outlook for Digital Technologies in Orthopedics

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ (AAOS) 2022 annual meeting convenes on March 22. The exhibit floor will be chock full of digital technologies. The market leader, arguably, is Stryker—whose MAKO brand of robotic assist devices has the largest installed base in orthopedics (excluding spine).

Stryker’s management presented 2021 sales performance to Wall Street’s analysts and investors last month. CEO Kevin Lobo disclosed that MAKO’s robotics sales jumped 27% in 2021 while knee and hip implant sales actually declined slightly between 2019 and 2021, Stryker’s hip and knee sales had declined from $3.198 billion to $3.190 billion.

Stryker’s installed base of MAKO systems is north of 1,500. Tops in orthopedics.

Impressively, more than 50% of all Stryker’s total knee arthroplasty surgeries in the final quarter of 2021 were performed using a MAKO platform. More than 25% of Stryker’s hip cases were also performed using MAKO.

Stryker’s experience is not unique. Sales of Zimmer’s ROSA system and Smith & Nephew’s NAVIO system, similarly, grew multiples faster than underlying implant or instrument sales.

Traditional orthopedics and spine product sales—implants, instruments, and their related products—grow at 3-6% annual rates. Digital products—robotics assist systems, navigation systems, augmented reality systems and advanced imaging systems—by contrast, are entering orthopedics at what appear to be breakneck speeds.

How do we come to understand these technologies and, more importantly, incorporate them into the treatment of musculoskeletal disease?

We asked Eric Timko, CEO of OrthAlign and former CEO of Blue Belt Technologies, which sold its robotic system to Smith & Nephew in 2016 for $275 million, for his analysis and outlook.

By Robin Young | Orthopedics This Week

Image Credit: José Oliveira and Fotografia: Pixabay


About Peter Coffaro 474 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 25 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. Recognized by the World Journal of Orthopedics, Exponential Healthtech, and MedReps.com as one of the top medical sales influencers in the industry; he has 10 years of combined sales management experience and has held positions as a Director, General Manager, Distributor, and Vice President. Peter has worked for some of the top orthopedic companies in the world - Zimmer, DePuy, and Stryker. He is also the founder of OrthoFeed: a popular blog that covers digital orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson and has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing, and professional education. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Illinois University.

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