Dr. John Dundon talks launching world's 1st smart knee implant


In May, John Dundon, MD, chief of adult reconstruction at Morristown (N.J.) Medical Center, became the first orthopedic surgeon in New Jersey to perform a smart knee implant using PersonaIQ, the first and only smart knee implant for total knee replacement surgery. 

Dr. Dundon spoke with Becker's about PersonaIQ, its uses and where the technology is headed in the future. 

What inspired you to start offering the PersonaIQ system for patients? 

The first thing that drew me to the PersonaIQ system was the information and data and being able to further evaluate patients’ recovery and look for any issues or problems that might arise. The second thing is the increased connectivity and increased patient engagement between me and the patient throughout the recovery process.

What challenges, if any, did you face in its implementation, or in the first procedure? 

The biggest hurdle is getting the base station for data transmission and capture set up with the patient. It is similar to setting up a router and there is customer support for this which helps. This can be a little difficult for some of my less technically savvy patients.

How will sensors and real-time patient tracking improve patient care?

This helps to better define the period between patient follow-up visits. Previously, we were unable to tell if there were issues with the recovery or if they were doing well in between visits. Now we are able to evaluate their progress without them being physically present which is reassuring for both the patient and the surgeon. In the future we hope to use this as a diagnostic tool.

Do you see the PersonaIQ system becoming commonplace at most practices in the near future, or are there still hurdles to overcome with implementation?

I certainly see this being used much more frequently in the future. The data is growing and as we are able to further refine the data, we will be able to make much more precise decisions about patient care and outcomes in the future. This will be instrumental in the future for patient monitoring to help prevent complications.

What feedback are you hearing from patients about the effects of PersonaIQ, and other similar robotic surgical techniques? 

Patients are reaching out much more frequently requesting technology, from robotics to smart implants. This is becoming more accepted and commonplace with patients and as this grows it will become more commonplace to see patients asking for this.

What is your favorite procedure to perform? 

I love performing revision procedures and have even done some revision procedures with the PersonaIQ system. Performing knee replacements and being able to manage the data has been enlightening in my practice and really helped me to further refine my knee replacement technique to try to achieve better patient outcomes. This has really brought a new excitement for me back to the standard knee replacement and helped me to see that there is no such thing as a "standard" primary knee replacement.

What other trends in the field are you keeping an eye on right now? 

I really see artificial intelligence platforms as the wave of the future. The data we are getting from PersonaIQ, robotics, and other patient care management platforms, is helping us to see the data and further refine the way we do knee replacements. The hope is in the future we will be able to use AI and predictive analytics to look for patterns in certain patient populations and deformities to help predict and determine which alignment and orientation will produce the best results in each individual patient.

Is there anything I may have missed that you would like to add or elaborate on?

This is the first orthopedic total joint implant that gives us detailed, high fidelity data in patients to help define the recovery curve for patients. We have 100 percent patient compliance with the data once this is set up and is unparalleled by anything else we currently have. The data we have now with recovery curves is the tip of the iceberg. As more patients get enrolled the data will be further refined and we will hopefully be able to gather more meaningful data and hopefully prevent complications in the future.

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