With health providers increasingly demanding single-use devices, Integer successfully created disposable bone-cutting tools for its orthopedic device customers.
Gary Victor, Integer
Within healthcare today, there is a heightened focus on “value” – on the episode of care and the need to deliver improved patient care outcomes and lower overall costs. A related trend in the orthopedic segment involves the role instruments can play and how they can ensure optimal clinical outcomes while mitigating expenses associated with post-operative infections.
Hundreds of thousands of hospital acquired infections (HAIs) occur in U.S. hospitals annually, requiring treatment costing tens of billions of dollars, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. This, coupled with a growing requirement for instrument traceability, has led the orthopedic device industry toward disposable devices. These single-use solutions must live up to the promises of their original reusable versions to gain market acceptance. They must deliver on ever-critical performance, durability and value vectors.
As a leading medical device outsource manufacturing company, Integer has an important role to play. We’ve been stepping beyond traditional roles and proactively presenting unique solutions to our partners. Ultimately, we bring these products and technologies to market by engaging with programs through all phases of the development and production life cycle.
Our goal is to work through our customers to bring viable solutions to the medical device industry that enhance patients’ lives.
To help our orthopedic device company customers, Integer identified three clinical focus areas for organic product development: product traceability, consistent cutting tool sharpness and repetitive cleanliness. Based on the design team’s expertise in design control, unique manufacturing methods, material science knowledge and the state of the art mechanical testing labs, the obvious entry point was disposable bone-cutting tools. These high-use instruments are difficult to clean, require consistent sharpness and experience supply chain challenges in some markets such as rural settings and ambulatory surgery centers (ASC). The trauma market was also a natural fit due in part to the inability to forecast emergencies, which exacerbates supply chain issues.
Our engineers carefully evaluated our customers’ portfolios to identify gaps and launched research and development programs to meet those needs. We now have several programs underway in various phases of the development cycle and recently collaborated on a new product introduction by one of our partners. Products in development include a single-procedure intramedullary reamer, single-procedure patella reamer, single-procedure acetabular reamer and more.