by Brian Buntz
In 2012, I wrote an article about dream medical devices that could go far to advance healthcare. Included on the list was chip-based orthopedic implants that could communicate information on wear levels, potentially prompting users that an artificial joint needs replacing.
The need for technology is high, considering that the patients receiving artificial hips and knees are trending younger, often wanting to lead active lifestyles. Meanwhile, traditional implants are designed for elderly patients who are asked to limit or cut out activities like tennis, jogging, running, skiing, or hiking. A WSJ article noted that patients were pushing the limits of new knees, while the majority of patients receiving them would be under 65 by 2016.
Recently, a medical device entrepreneur named Richard Chen wrote me saying that he had founded a company named Sensurtec (Napa, CA) that is developing a smart technology for artificial joints, including hips, knees, and spine known asRejuvaenus. Equipped with sensors, the devices can inform the wearer or a doctor if it needs replacing and enable patients to have a more active lifestyle. The smart artificial knee is furthest along.