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Large Joints Feature

The ATTUNE KNEE System / Courtesy of DePuy Synthes

Unusual Way to Introduce a Knee Implant

Tracey Romero • Tue, April 11th, 2017

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There’s been a lot written about the changing nature of medicine in an era of big data and outcome based reimbursement.

Now, it appears, those changes are affecting how companies—more specifically DePuy Synthes, one of Johnson & Johnson’s family of companies—are presenting their new orthopedic implants.

Case in point: DePuy’s updated ATTUNE Knee System.

ATTUNE was first launched in 2011 and made commercially available in 2013. It’s not a new product by any means. But DePuy’s approach to promoting is new and very noteworthy.

“We want to highlight both economic benefits and evidence-based outcomes because they are the driver of choice,” Rajit Kamal, Global Knee Platform Leader, DePuy Synthes Joint Reconstruction told OTW. “Healthcare is almost 20% of the U.S. economy so the focus needs to be on value.”

Through its ATTUNE Knee Evidence Generation Program which includes data from company-initiated studies, investigator-initiated studies, independent studies and national joint registries, the company is adapting to today’s medical landscape where there is a need to drive down cost while still maintaining quality. To be truly competitive, companies like DePuy Synthes must give evidence of their device’s overall value.

The centerpiece of this new strategy is a report, “Improving the Value of Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty: the ATTUNE Knee System,” in which the authors David Fisher, M.D, director of the Total Joint Center of Excellence at OrthoIndy Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana and David Parkin, an Honorary Visiting Professor at City, University of London and a Senior Visiting Fellow, Office of Health Economics found that the ATTUNE knee offers not only favorable survivorship, but also improved patient-reported outcomes and potential economic benefits compared with other knee systems.

One of the studies cited in the report used Patient’s Knee Implant Performance (PKIP) as well as other patient-reported outcome measures and showed that at one year, study participants implanted with the ATTUNE Knee had statistically significant improvements compared to other leading knee systems in terms of confidence in stability during activity, decreased anterior knee pain, activities of daily living and quality of life. In addition, a U.S. hospital database analysis showed that patients had a 39% lower odds of discharge to a skilled nursing facility when implanted with an ATTUNE Knee, than if they received total knee replacement with a Triathlon Knee.

Parkin said in a press release, “Quality of life, as measured by patient-reported outcomes, has been shown to be a driver of cost-effectiveness in knee replacement. The evidence that I’ve seen about the effectiveness of the ATTUNE Knee in improving patient reported outcomes suggests it can deliver a better quality of life for patients compared to other leading knee systems.”

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