Courtesy of THINK Surgical

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THINK Surgical and United Orthopedic Corporation (UNITED) have recently announced a collaboration, with the intention of improving knee replacement experiences. THINK is an advanced robotic technology company that developed the first active robotic orthopedic surgical system, and UNITED is an international designer, manufacturer and distributor of orthopedic implants and instruments. This collaboration was announced at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ (AAOS) 2019 annual meeting.

The collaboration aims to use each company’s existing technology portfolio to provide a greater global reach of their combined technologies. The main innovations in question are THINK’s Active Robotic System and UNITED’s U2™ Knee System. These products are set to be interwoven via a joint marketing plan to incorporate all systems into a combined offering for orthopedic surgeons.

“We are excited about what this collaboration and complete package offering will bring to orthopedic markets worldwide. By combining THINK’s Active Robotic System and UNITED’s U2™ Knee System, we believe we will be able to offer unparalleled precision and have the potential to minimize opportunities for error, all while helping to ensure procedures are executed as close to their design as possible,” said Jason Lin, Chairman and CEO of United Orthopedic Corporation. “By working together, in time we may be able to offer a solution that reduces healthcare costs and improves outcomes for total knee replacement patients.”

THINK’s system uses two exclusive technologies to yield its final result, including a 3D pre-surgical planning workstation and a computer-assisted tool, dubbed the Active Robot. Combined, these technologies allow for surgical plans to be carried out with care and exact precision in total joint replacement procedures. The system has already been used outside the United States in thousands of hip and knee replacements worldwide and is expected to obtain FDA clearance in 2019, due to its enrollment in a study with partial knee arthroplasty.

In this collaboration, UNITED offers to serve as THINK’s exclusive distributor in Taiwan. In tandem, Taiwan would then be designated as a center of excellence for their combined systems, resulting in a “one-stop” solution for precision total joint arthroplasty. Additionally, the companies are planning to conceptualize cooperative development for a type of implant that is designed for use in active robotic surgeries to offer an improved alternative to what is currently available in the industry.

Market research on orthopedic large joint devices, published by iData Research, notes that a staggering 1 million knee replacement procedures were performed in the United States just last year. This market is being driven by a plethora of areas, including the increased tendency for younger patients to opt for knee replacement procedures. Additionally, as this new younger population is likely to outlive their implants, this demographic is also pushing the market with an increased demand for knee revisions. New technologies, such as those from THINK and UNITED, are set to propel this market further, as more patients have greater confidence in knee implants.

“Combined with UNITED’s quarter-century reputation as a reliable manufacturer in the medical device space, we believe that THINK’s expertise in robotic technologies will allow us to potentially offer surgeons a more precise experience in total joint replacement surgery,” said John Hahn, THINK Surgical’s CEO and President.

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For Further Information

More on the orthopedic large joints replacement market in the U.S. can be found in a series of reports published by iData entitled the U.S. Market Report Suite for Orthopedic Large Joint Devices.