Zimmer Biomet for the past several years has been trying to “transform” its brand—from being known for medical equipment, to an innovative company that incorporates digital technologies and data to connect patients and doctors, said Liane Teplitsky, president for global robotics and technology and data solutions at the company.
That’s included tying in wearables, launching a surgical robotic system that personalizes knee implants and now smart implants.
But “we’re not just going to introduce technology and all of this data for the sake of having it out there,” Teplitsky said. “There’s really, fundamental problems to be solved.”
Persona IQ is currently cleared to provide data to physicians and patients, but not to support clinical decision-making.
That’s led some orthopedic surgeons to say they’re waiting to decide whether to integrate the technology into their practice until they see evidence of clinical benefits.
Read more: Implants get ‘smart’ in orthopedics
Teplitsky cited the statistic that 1 in 5 patients aren’t satisfied after a knee replacement, suggesting closer post-operative monitoring could potentially help surgeons better understand what drives patient outcomes and possibly reduce patients’ anxiety about how their recovery is going. Zimmer Biomet has already published findings on how wearable devices can be used to track patient activity after surgery.
The company will “collect that data and we’ll make sure that we get those proof points,” Teplitsky said.
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Down the line, Zimmer Biomet plans to apply findings on how to use data from the smart implant to create clinical algorithms that inform interventions and detect problems, like possible infection or implant loosening.
That’s a “long-term play here,” Teplitsky said.