Smart knee replacement implants made their debut in 2021, and more surgeons adopted the technology in 2022.
Zimmer Biomet's Persona IQ smart knee implant has been debuted in six states in 2022: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and Kentucky. The implant, which measures a patient's activity levels and knee kinematics, was also integrated into Canary Medical's orthopedic analytics platform in December.
Experts are optimistic about the potential that smart knee implants bring, but say there is still room to grow.
BTIG analysts have predicted that smart knees will "become ubiquitous within orthopedics, much like robotics," according to a Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry report. Reserachers will be able to leverage data to improve patient care and create evidence-based recommendations, the report said.
Jacob Sams, MD, who debuted Persona IQ in Illinois, said the current smart technology has a lot to build on.
"The current limitations of smart implants is that their utility is really isolated to the early rehabilitation phase after surgery, and the information technology requirements for the patient limits wide adoption," he told Becker's. "Currently, patients are required to have a home Wi-Fi network and a computer. Hopefully in the future, the only technology requirement for the patient will be a smartphone or tablet device. Opportunities for future development include monitoring on demand by the patients and surgeons."
Price can also stand as a roadblock between patients and the tehcnology, Fred Cushner, MD, who uses smart knee implants at New York City-based Hospital for Special Surgery, said.
"The battery lasts more than 20 years, so we're not really worried about that," Dr. Cushner said. "Even if the battery dies, the implant still functions as a stem. I think the biggest issue is the cost. You are adding more technology, and there's a cost, and we have to make a case for why that extra cost is worth it. That's something I think we'll see as we develop more algorithms based on big data."