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Smith & Nephew Launches NAVIO for Total Knee

The new application expands the use of the NAVIO robotics platform from partial knees.

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Boston Scientific Drawing Consumers with TV Ads

For the first time, Boston Scientific uses TV marketing to reach potential patients.

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Smith & Nephew Launches NAVIO for Total Knee

Smith & Nephew announced the launch of the NAVIO handheld robotics-assisted total knee arthroplasty (TKA) application. This expands the NAVIO platform from partial knee replacement, where it has been in use since 2014, to total knees. The press release notes that TKAs comprise 80% of all knee replacement surgeries globally.

The company describes the benefits associated with the use of the NAVIO system, including the platform’s ability to help surgeons with implant alignment, ligament balancing and bone preparation, all of which contribute to patient satisfaction. Further, the NAVIO is portable, handheld, easy to set up and allows patients to avoid a pre-operative CT for surgical planning. The new NAVIO TKA application supports Smith & Nephew’s JOURNEY II, LEGION Primary and GENESIS II Total Knee Systems.

Smith & Nephew acquired Blue Belt Technologies, developer of the NAVIO technology, from HealthpointCapital for $275 million in 2015.


Posted July 07, 2017

Boston Scientific Drawing Consumers with TV Ads

Boston Scientific launched a marketing initiative this spring designed to reach potential patients for a stroke prevention device – TV ads, which ran in Tampa, Detroit, San Diego and Phoenix, the first of their kind in the company’s 38-year history. The Boston Globe first reported on the effort, which is notable because devicemakers, unlike drug companies, do not often run direct-to-consumer television ads.

The ad was for the Watchman, a device targeting patients with atrial fibrillation who are susceptible to blood clots. The device seals the left atrial appendage, where 90% of stroke-causing clots that come from the heart are formed, so clots can’t migrate. Watchman is being positioned as an alternative to warfarin or other blood thinners, which are associated with bleeding risk. The company’s chief medical officer, Ian Meredith, describes the commercial as presenting an alternative for patients who can’t take anti-coagulants or are struggling with their side effects, adding, “And a lot of primary care doctors don’t realize this option’s available.” Further, the Watchman is a highly differentiated device – it’s the only product of its kind on the market in the United States and the fastest-growing of all of the company’s products – which means that increased education and awareness can support the company’s position in a more competitive market for hospital sales.

The company says they are reviewing the ad’s performance in their initial markets before deciding whether to roll it out to other geographies.


Posted July 20, 2017
Mazor Releases Impressive Early Data from Spine Study

Robotic guidance was linked to lower complication and revision rates.

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Mazor Releases Impressive Early Data from Spine Study

Mazor released early results from their ongoing MIS reFRESH study, which is comparing robot-guided thoracic, lumbar or lumbosacral spinal fusions to freehand or fluoro-guided techniques based on endpoints like intraoperative X-ray exposure, surgical complications and need for revision. Among the 379 patients analyzed in this cohort (of a planned total enrollment of 2000), investigators found lower rates of complications and revisions among the patients who had robot-guided procedures. Specifically, the risk of adverse events or complications was 5.3 times higher in the fluoro-guided group (92 subjects at the time of analysis) compared to the robot-guided arm (287 subjects). Further, relative risk for revision surgery was 7.1 times higher in the fluoro-guided group. Both results were statistically significant.

If these results are maintained over the larger study cohort, they will represent compelling evidence for the benefit of robot-assisted techniques in orthopedic and spine surgery.

The company has a strategic partnership with Medtronic for the worldwide distribution of the Mazor X system that has been in place since 2016, though Mazor has said they plan to keep their technology open and compatible with any devicemaker’s implants. Medtronic recently invested an additional $40 million in the company, which was accelerated based on “the early achievement of certain sales and marketing milestones by both companies, as well as higher than expected global market acceptance and demand for the Mazor X system.” Medtronic has now invested a total of $72 million in Mazor.


Posted November 08, 2017