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Zoning In With Richard Randall

Richard Randall was appointed CEO of OMNIlife science (OMNI) in November 2014. Mr. Randall brings more than 30 years of experience in establishing medical device firms to his new position. Prior to his role at OMNI he served as CEO of Medical Compression Systems, where he established marketing and sales for hospital and outpatient commercialization of their therapy.

From 2011 to 2013 Mr. Randall served as Chairman and CEO of Avantis Medical, where he focused on developing a domestic reimbursement and marketing strategy. From 2002 to 2011, Mr. Randall was Chairman, President and CEO of TranS1. He joined the firm as the first employee and managed TranS1 through early product development, product regulatory approvals, market launches in the U.S. and Europe, two private equity financings and an IPO.

BONEZONE spoke to Mr. Randall to discuss his plans for OMNI and ways that his previous roles prepared him to grow the company and further innovation in the orthopaedic industry.

BONEZONE: How has your leadership experience in the medical device industry prepared you for your role at OMNIlife science?

Randall: Since 1980, my career has focused exclusively on emerging technologies that either change the traditional gold standard form of medicine, or replace the gold standard. Since I’ve been doing that for 35 years, I’ve found that the biggest challenge is replacing old habits with new habits. Physicians are taught not to change – to stick with what works. If we’re going to replace a therapy with a new one, we have to be in the business of getting physicians comfortable in departing the habit that they have and replacing it with a new one that proves to be better. I’ve done this in cardiology, neurosurgery, sports medicine, spine surgery and now orthopaedics. I’ve found that orthopaedic surgeons are probably the most challenging in terms of changing their habits. Orthopaedic surgery is instrument-intensive. They utilize more instrumentation than any other surgeon. Therefore, it’s extremely challenging to break the habit of getting great results with an instrument set that they’ve probably used since their early training is. I took this on because I now believe that the changes we are experiencing in healthcare under the Affordable Care Act and our current economic environment create an opportunity to change habits, leading to better clinical outcomes that are more value-based.

BONEZONE: How do you plan to drive growth and further innovation at OMNIlife?

Randall: In a term, to provide strategic discipline to the company. That strategic discipline will be supported by several activities. First of all, we have to create awareness of the benefits of robotic assisted total joint arthroplasty and get our messaging down as to why a surgeon should consider a move from traditional total joint arthroplasty to robotic assisted arthroplasty.

The other thing we need to do in a disciplined fashion is to target. The good news is that robotic surgery today occupies a very small share of the entire total joint market. In the knee, the only other robotic technology that’s available only addresses the partial knee – not the total knee replacement; partial knee replacement is about 15 percent of the indicated knee replacement patient population. That means we have a lot of room to maneuver. Targeting the appropriate surgeon and right hospital is what we need to do. Certain surgeons are more amenable or in greater need in the current environment to up their ante with quality. Certain hospitals are in greater need to be able to provide a high level of quality outcomes that they can market to gain share in their region.

Third, we need more outcome analysis. We are approaching 5,000 total knee replacements performed using the OMNI navigational robotic system. All of our surgeons will tell you, anecdotally, that their outcomes are better since they’ve moved to the robotic.

Last, we need to continue to fund our R&D. We have quite a few initiatives on our plate or that we would like to put on our plate that would further drive robotics with even greater quality outcome, and would level the playing field in the marketplace for many surgeons and hospital providers alike.