New Tech for Customized Joint Implants

The great news for older adults is that with advances in modern medicine, healthcare, and nutrition, seniors are enjoying an unprecedented lifespan.  But although many older adults are living healthy, active lives well into their 70s, 80s, and beyond, some of the old parts may be wearing out.  But a new startup that will customize knee replacement implants may be a game-changer – improving outcomes for people who undergo joint replacement surgery. 

According to a recent ZDNet Robotics report, Monogram Orthopedics has begun a crowdfunding effort to bring new technology that combines artificial intelligence, robotics, and 3D printing to the joint replacement market.  The project strives to harness technology and personalize implants by using the power of intelligent robotics. 

More than 1 million knee replacement surgeries are performed each year in the United States alone, and with a rapidly aging population, that number is expected to rise to 3.5 million by 2030.  At present, there are an estimated 100,000 hip and knee replacement failures each year, and surgeries do not guarantee a positive outcome. In fact, 36 percent of patients say they regret having had surgery at all. 

But with recent improvements in robotics, manufacturing using 3D printed replacement joints of medical-grade titanium alloys, and AI image processing, the health outcomes of surgical patients are improving.  With customized replacement joints tailored to lifestyle, initial research supports the claim that patients could experience a significant improvement in quality of life by receiving a personalized implant. 

Monogram has currently raised more than $20M and is now in Series-B round to crowdsource the remaining funds with a combined target of $34M to bring the technology to the $19.6B joint replacement market.  Monogram expects to begin sales of implants in 2021 and hopes to be one of the first distributors to market with its technology and eight patent filings.