Ortho Conference or Tech Conference?
If I had to sum up the theme of AAOS last week in one word, it would be: Data!
This year, the conference was techier than ever – shiny and slick digital displays lined nearly every booth. From robotics and their integrated surgical planning (or even implant design) solutions like THINK and Monogram, to collection of patient data through sensors – like Zimmer’s new PersonaIQ. There were various navigation platforms – handheld (like OrthAlign) or mounted on a screen, and data insights to drive improved patient experiences and product design, and AI algorithms for streamlining cases were being advertised as products. Companies were touting data as the future wave of orthopedics – so much so, that it was even the slogan on Stryker’s booth.
Indeed, we are entering an era where our access to information is growing rapidly – harnessing this information to improve patient outcomes and develop value for the industry may take a bit more time, however.
With the advent of remote patient monitoring (RPM) and remote therapeutic monitoring (RTM) codes, physicians and other providers finally have a mechanism to bill for time interacting with patient data. That being said – not all data are equal, and in the MSK world, we do not yet know which will prove to be truly meaningful from a predictive standpoint, such that they warrant clinician monitoring. This is where time and robust studies are what are needed to answer these questions.
Collecting data from patient scans, from patient outcomes, from recovery parameters matched with implant types, techniques, etc can prove extremely valuable as companies develop next generation implants that more closely follow not just native anatomy, but also dynamic movement. Unfortunately, these data use cases are unlikely to lead to immediate revenue opportunities – but they are sure to lead to better patient outcomes and possibly the ability to predict and match which patient will do better with which implant.
Image Credit: Masha Dumanis / Health Advances