How MedTech Can Support Surgeons and Maintain High Expectations

Revolutionizing Hip Reconstruction

Keith Palmer, Worldwide Vice President, Hip Reconstruction

The number of people aged 65 and older is growing faster than any other age group.1  In fact, for the first time ever, older people outnumber children. This trend has an enormous impact on demand across the healthcare industry, including orthopedics, and in particular, the demand for hip replacement surgeries.

Most people receiving hip replacement surgery are active middle-aged adults. However, there has been a 123% increase in hip replacements for patients as young as 45, as new technology and systems have made the procedure less burdensome.2

This adds up to a potential surge in patient demand that without proper preparation, will challenge even the best of healthcare facilities; threatening to outpace technology and the surgical workforce.3

To meet the needs of this growing patient market, medtech companies and healthcare facilities must consider various factors.

Trends in Patient Needs, Expectations

Industry has to stay ahead of the curve. Patients’ needs are the focus of all medical innovation. To provide patients with the right solutions, it’s important that medtech companies and healthcare facilities remain on top of trends in patient demand, developing product offerings that leverage the best that technology has to offer.

Younger patients desire a quick recovery and an equally fast return to their active lifestyles. These patients also are more knowledgeable about the technological advancements that can help them recover quicker; thus, they expect the same of their surgical experience, including best-in-class solutions that deliver high quality care before, during, and after an operation.

Will technology ensure the procedure and implant placed in a patient’s body is best suited for them? How long can patients rely on these implants to maintain their lifestyles and allow them to painlessly move with ease and comfort?

If implant manufacturers are doing their jobs right, surgeons should be able to easily answer these questions and others because of the confidence they glean from the tools they are offered.

DePuy Synthes aims to provide solutions that support patients’ individual needs. The company’s ACTIS Hip Solution is designed to help surgeons achieve a precise fit and serve a broader patient population. When compared to the posterior approach, the ANTERIOR ADVANTAGETM Hip Solution can deliver faster recovery times,4 decreased length of hospital stay,5 and reduced post-operative pain6 and use of pain relievers5—thereby improving healthcare for all.  At the same time,

DePuy Synthes’ PINNACLE Acetabular System has been available for over 20 years and has been provided to over 4 million patients across the world.7

Solutions to Create Efficiencies, Improve Productivity

While patients are at the center of all healthcare innovation, meeting surgeons’ needs is imperative as well. Surgeons need to be assured they can achieve the same positive outcome every time they enter the OR. Reproducible outcomes are critical during this time of increased demand, achieved by innovative solutions that are designed to improve implant placement accuracy.

The key to achieving this level of confidence is outcome reproducibility as well as a trust in knowing surgeons’ needs are both well-understood and rationalized. Medtech manufacturers make the best products when they work closely with the surgeons who use them; such a symbiotic relationship allows for a deep understanding of what surgeons want to accomplish before, during and after surgery.

Medtech companies must also build systems that help surgeons meet the physical demands of their vocation. Standing in the operating room (OR) for hours takes a huge physical and mental toll on physicians, and implant manufacturers must account for this workload and its physical challenges when designing and developing products. 

Surgical technology should be intuitive and reliable, allowing surgeons and their staff to minimize variables in the OR and master efficiency. An efficient OR can lead to reduced costs of care in response to healthcare system needs, including patients, surgeons, and their staff.

Research shows that an improved automated surgical system can limit the physical toll of surgical procedures and reduce OR time by an average of eight minutes, leading to estimated annual savings of $58,000 (per 250 cases).8,9 With just eight minutes, hospitals are saving tens of thousands of dollars. This begs the question: How much could be saved if OR time is reduced by 10 minutes? Fifteen?

Applying a system designed to eliminate the need for repetitious surgical mallet use during a total joint arthroplasty procedure can also reduce surgeon fatigue and improve productivity. A simulated study found that 66% of participants using such a system had reduced muscle fatigue.*10

Further, with streamlined instrumentation and reduced cost of supplies, surgeons and staff can prep for surgery, operate, and clean up in record time. Creative solutions such as systems with no disposable or additional instruments, products that don’t require additional sterilizing wrap, and other methods of developing technology that reduces time and costs can further support a more efficient and safer OR – something that DePuy Synthes strives for through its portfolio.

Looking Beyond the OR

ORs are not the only beneficiaries of efficient technology. Driven by patient demand, more surgeries than ever before are moving to outpatient settings, including ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), and that trend is expected to continue. Approximately 12% of total hip arthroplasties in the United States were conducted in an ASC in 2021.11 The growing penchant for this new setting is part of a larger trend that is also being driven by advances in technology and pain management, and allows these surgeries to be conducted more efficiently,12  and be customized to each patient’s functional needs.

As more commercial payers employ value-based payment programs for surgeries that move from inpatient to outpatient, medtech companies should provide customized solutions to surgeon-entrepreneurs and ASC administrators that streamline the surgical experience and help lower the costs of surgery, saving the healthcare system money.

Continuing Momentum

Medtech manufacturers have a duty to address unmet surgical needs and meet patients’ expectations while simultaneously mitigating the cost challenges that exist in today’s economic environment.

In designing new technologies, companies must also prepare adequate accompanying training materials for surgeons and OR staff to quickly adapt these new tools into their clinics and reduce any stress in the uptake process. Offering ongoing professional education can help to maintain a well-educated staff.

By co-creating hip solutions alongside surgeons, the orthopedic implant industry can continue to empower them and their healthcare teams with state-of-the-art implants, technology and techniques that advance and revolutionize the standard of care in hip reconstruction to Keep People Moving. It is a journey I am excited to be a part of.


*Four (4) of 6 participants showed a statistically significant reduction in fatigue (p<0.05) when using the KINCISETM System. One (1) participant showed negligible levels of fatigue with no difference between the impaction modalities. This was due to low level of muscle activity captured during both impaction modalities. One (1) participant presented higher fatigue with the KINCISE System, due to the forceful use while operating the system.



  1. United Nations. Ageing. Accessed November 2, 2022.
  2. Drew JM, Lange JK, Briggs V, Franklin P, Ayers D. Trends in Total Hip Arthroplasty in the United States: The Shift to a Younger Demographic. Published March 13, 2014. Accessed November 2, 2022.
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, National Center for Health Workforce Analysis. National and Regional Projections of Supply and Demand for Surgical Specialty Practitioners: 2013-2025. Published 2016. Accessed November 2, 2022.
  4. Miller LE, Gondusky JS, Bhattacharyya S, Kamath AF, Boettner F, Wright J. Journal of Arthroplasty. 2018. 33(4):1296-1302.
  5. Schweppe et al. Does Surgical Approach in Total Hip Arthroplasty Affect Rehabilitation, Discharge Disposition, and Readmission Rate? Surgical Technology International XXIII. 2013. Orthopedic Surgery, 219-227.
  6. Zawadsky MW, et al. “Early Outcome Comparison Between the Direct Anterior Approach and the Mini-Incision Posterior Approach for Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty: 150 Consecutive Cases.” The Journal of Arthroplasty 2014; (29): 1256-1260.
  7. Royalty COE Report, PINNACLE WW implantations YTD, 2000 - 2021.
  8. Bhimani AA, Rizkalla JM, Peters Jr PC, Kitziger KJ, Schubert RD, Gladnick BP. Surgical Automation Reduces Operating Time While Maintaining Accuracy for Direct Anterior Total Hip Arthroplasty. J Orthop. 2020 Apr 1;22:68-72.
  9. DePuy Synthes. Analysis of 2018-2020 Premier Healthcare Database for OR Costs in Total Knee, Hip and Shoulder Arthroplasty. Raynham (MA). July 2021.
  10. Ferrari E, Khan M, Mantel J, Wallbank R. The assessment of muscle fatigue in orthopedic surgeons, by comparing manual versus automated broaching in simulated total hip arthroplasty. Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2021 Jul
  11. DePuy Synthes. Analysis of 2021 Hip Procedures and ASC created by Decision Resource Group. Procedure Track Report. 2022 Sep 06.
  12. SG2 Orthopedics Service Line Outlook Report 2020. DAL Report# 20200930.


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