Biomet, Inc., with its Vanguard knee system and OrthoSensor, Inc. with its wireless VERASENSE sensors, are forming a co-promotion partnership to, according to a March 18, 2013 press release, “improve knee replacement surgery.”
VERASENSE is a trial bearing designed for use with the Vanguard Complete Knee System, which is embedded with sensors and microelectronics to provide surgeons with real-time knee kinetic data. The sensors wirelessly transmit information to a graphic display, allowing surgeons to quantify soft-tissue loads throughout the range of motion. This enables the surgeon to make informed adjustments to the soft tissues and implant placement in order to allow for overall knee balancing. Research has shown that soft tissue balance may aid in the reduction of pain, polyethylene wear, and aseptic loosening while improving patients’ proprioception.
In the press release…Biomet’s global knee leader, Todd Davis, said the company believes that the impact this will have on soft tissue balancing will be “dramatic.”
Biomet’s market share in knees has been holding steady recently, according to BMO Capital Market analyst Joanne Wuensch. Biomet’s worldwide knee sales increased nicely by 3% on a constant currency basis in the last quarter with Vanguard showing some strength, but U.S. sales remained stagnant. She notes the company has started to implement a direct-to-consumer marketing campaign, highlighting a lifetime warranty program available in the U.S.
OrthoSensor’s intelligent orthopedic devices utilize advanced sensor and wireless communication technology with the goal of improving healthcare outcomes and reducing the cost of treating musculoskeletal disease. The company’s intelligent orthopedic instrumentation and implants are designed to enhance surgical implantation, as well as enable remote monitoring of implant function and overall musculoskeletal health.
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