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Courtesy of Andrew Huth and RRY Publications, LLC ©

Medtronic Spine Launches Spine Essentials

Walter Eisner • Fri, June 3rd, 2016

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Medtronic plc wants to differentiate itself by making 1- and 2-level cervical spinal fusions less expensive for hospitals.

To reach that goal, the company is launching Spine Essentials, a new platform of spinal implants and instruments, which the company says will make cervical spine fusion procedures "more efficient and help hospital systems manage costs, while maintaining quality."

According to a May 19, 2016 announcement, the platform will accomplish this by "providing the exact tools in the right quantities needed to perform the cervical fusions, while reducing the costs and time required for instrument sterilization, case set up and inventory management." The initiative fits right in line with the company's surgical synergies strategic efforts.

"As a surgeon who routinely performs these types of surgeries, it’s helpful to optimize the implants and tools, so we’re being as efficient as possible to provide the best care possible to our patients, " said Richard N.W. Wohns, M.D., orthopedic surgeon at neoSpine in Puyallup, Washington, and one of the physicians who collaborated with Medtronic to develop the platform.

Along with new product offerings such as Mazor's robotics, surgical synergies will be the company's "calling card, " said company CEO Omar Ishrak during a conference call with analysts on May 31, 2016. "We've got very strong enabling technology platforms in navigation and imaging."

Ishrak said Medtronic is differentiating spine procedures, both economically and clinically and the surgeon experience. "Just easier surgical procedures. This is going to take place quarter-over-quarter as we continue to emphasize this."

"Things are looking very good for our Spine business right now, " added Ishrak. "Every quarter we've improved over the last five quarters. And it's a big shift, takes a little bit of time to change the direction and you should continue to see continued improvement quarter-over-quarter.

Spine Essentials implant sets include the most commonly used implant sizes for 1- and 2-level fusions of the neck (anterior cervical discectomy and fusions) and are sterile packaged with smaller instrument sets; thereby, says the company, reducing the amount of inventory a hospital needs to sterilize, set up and store. This platform will reduce sterilization costs associated with the procedure, including:

  • ~44% fewer instruments to sterilize compared with the full-sized configurations.
  • 91% fewer items to sterilize compared with the full-sized instrument and implant sets.
  • 67% reduction in number of cases to sterilize compared with the full-sized instrument and implant sets.

"Healthcare systems are under intense economic challenges, and Spine Essentials is an example of how Medtronic can bring value to spine surgery by optimizing costs and efficiency, " said Doug King, senior vice president and president of Medtronic’s Spinal business.

The company said Spine Essentials incorporates technology developed by Gary K. Michelson, M.D.

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One Response to “Medtronic Spine Launches Spine Essentials”

  1. jim crawford says:

    Paul, this is a little thing but is a good idea and they will drive this in the market.

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