While one spine surgeon says the industry is evolving due to increased knowledge and technology advancements, another sees a lack in innovation.
Four leaders in the spine and orthopedic industries recently spoke with Becker's about the one word they would use to describe their outlooks on the spine and orthopedic surgery industries.
Editor's note: Responses were lightly edited for clarity and length.
Dean Chou, MD. Chief of the Division of Spine Surgery, Spine Fellowship Director, Co-Site Chief of Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital and Co-Director of Minimally Invasive Scoliosis Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center (New York City): The word is: Evolving. Spine surgery is continually getting better. Focus on quality, outcomes and safety are coming to the forefront. More surgeons and patients are becoming aware of the right indications for surgery and of the best treatment options as research and data show which surgeries work best and which do not work so well. Overall, the field is evolving for the better because of increased dissemination of knowledge, integration of technology safeguards, and focus on outcomes and quality.
Kevin Fleming. Vice President of the Orthopedic Institute at AdventHealth (Altamonte Springs, Fla.): When I think about the future outlook of ortho/spine markets, the one word that comes to mind is transformation. Health systems today are challenged to deliver high-value clinical care by a variety of stakeholders and competitors. This industry transformation is accelerated by patient and payers, private equity and entrepreneurial disruptors, and the emergence of innovative technologies and care settings. Orthopedic/spine care is rapidly transforming around us, and we have an exciting opportunity to lead through these dynamic challenges.
Konstantinos Margetis, MD, PhD. Director of Complex Spine Surgery in the Department of Neurosurgery at Mount Sinai Hospital, Director of Spine at Mount Sinai-Union Square, and Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Rehabilitation and Human Performance at the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine (New York City): I would say "unadventurous." We mainly see incremental improvements in existing concepts, but not many exciting innovations. I think there is increased hesitancy to push for more ambitious concepts that come with higher business risk.
Kim Mikes, BSN, RN. CEO of Hoag Orthopedic Institute (Newport Beach, Calif.): Evolving. In the world of spine and orthopedics, there are innovative technologies and techniques that drastically impact patient care, such as the use of robotics, surgical navigation and surgically implanted "smart" devices. These are some of the most exciting developments in orthopedic medical treatments. The technology allows our doctors to be even more precise in the surgical process, yielding better patient outcomes. Robotic technology helps great surgeons to become even better.
Our spine physicians follow a "conservative-first approach," which is ideal to ensure our patients get the best care. They are not in a rush to do surgery but first utilize noninvasive treatments that can help their patients, such as injections and physical therapy.
When surgery is necessary, outpatient surgery and the kinds of procedures that can be done in that setting is reshaping healthcare delivery. Now, many patients undergo an orthopedic procedure in the morning and return home by the afternoon. That happens every single day at HOI, thanks to innovative procedures we developed to improve the delivery of patient care.
All of these trends in the orthopedic industry ensure our patients can get back to doing what they love faster.