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Focus: The Need for Innovation in Orthopaedics is Real

Jeff Tyber of Tyber Medical offered up additive manufacturing, 3D printing and bioengineered surfaces as examples. However, he warns us not to just fit neat technologies such as these into applications for novelty’s sake. “Look at the problem you’re trying to solve, determine the solution, and then go look for what you need in terms of the technology.”

Manufacturing techniques that address custom/unique cases or elicit improved osteoconductive response from your implant or improve durability or wear resistance are some examples. William R. Jellison, formerly of Stryker, said of the company’s hefty investment in a new manufacturing technique, “The pipeline of innovative new geometries that can’t be made without 3D printing is the area of focus. It’s not about trying to replace our products and drive down cost. Over time, ten years from now, that could be the case, but in the near- to mid-term, it’s really a focus on innovative new products.”

Here are some experienced voices to guide you in successfully and profitably pursuing your ideas.

Jeff Tyber:

“Listen to your customer. If you go there and listen to what they’re asking for, sometimes that hard data is better than some analytical report that someone crunched from public data.”

“Sometimes being the first one out, isn’t always the best thing. It’s sometimes the second or the third iteration, whether it’s the same company or different companies, that can solve the problems better. You can’t be scared of iteration.”

Wesley Johnson: 

“As you bring innovations to mind and prototype and market, get them in the hands of surgeons as quickly as possible.”

“Going to the registries or literature and looking at outcomes data is a great source.”

Blaine Warkentine:

“Even if you have an innovative storyline, it doesn’t mean the business is going to succeed.”

Kelli Hallas:

“No matter how unique or innovative a product, no matter how fine-tuned your internal processes, no matter how great the initial demand, in order to be successful in today’s marketplace, everybody needs to be paid.”

Robert Bray, M.D.: 

“…stop thinking about what the surgeon wants based on what the surgeon has used in the past.”

Calvin Lin:

“… companies that can respond to the challenges of their customers…helping their customers’ bottom line, will remain relevant in a pressured marketplace.”


Here are some more BONEZONE articles on innovation:

What the Future of Orthopaedics Means for You: There are billions of dollars in combined operating profit and working capital up for grabs for orthopaedic companies that can respond to disrupting factors and restructure their business models, products, or both.  How does that change life for those of you in procurement? What about engineers? How about the relationships along your supply chain?

Zoning In with Orthopaedic Surgeon Entrepreneurs: “Trying to stop surgeons from innovating will be like trying to stop water from flowing downhill. Cookbook medicine based on algorithms cannot be used to successfully treat everyone. Ultimately, we surgeons are still providing an important service and there will always be patients who demand better outcomes through state of the art care.”

Outsource Innovation by Tapping into Supplier Expertise: You can optimize product design, improve performance timelines and reduce costs by engaging your external resources,  and doing so early in the design phase.



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