Beyond the implant — DePuy Synthes pushes innovation inside & out of the OR

Spinal Tech

DePuy Synthes, part of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices companies, continues to push the boundaries of business with innovation that goes beyond device development.

The company leverages the Triple Aim to offer holistic support to healthcare providers through patients' entire episodes of care.Juan Jose Head Shot


"We make sure every decision we make puts the patient at the center, but we also look at how we can measure our progress against the dimensions of the Triple Aim," explains Juan-José Gonzalez, president of DePuy Synthes, U.S., hitting on enhancing outcomes, decreasing costs and improving patient satisfaction. "For each pillar of the Triple Aim, we ensure we can support the current healthcare landscape transformation."


DePuy Synthes goes "beyond the implant" by focusing on important phases within a patient's episode of care and offering products and solutions that take these various elements into account. Since a great chunk of costs stem from outside of the operating room, DePuy Synthes ensures it is presenting solutions for the preparation and recovery of the patient, in addition to its operating room offerings, including orthopedic products as well as services in the areas of joint reconstruction, trauma, spine, sports medicine, cranio-maxillofacial, power tools and biomaterials.


"We look at all of the pieces of the procedure, from the time the patient has decided to undergo surgery to the time of recovery," says Mr. Gonzalez. "We work hard to address all of the elements that are critical to the healthcare provider and the patient."


These critical elements DePuy Synthes provides include technology; patient support; data analytics; and supply chain management, to name a few.


"If you look at the quality of our products, the strength of our systems and our superior solutions, you can see the value that DePuy Synthes provides to surgeons and hospitals alike," adds Mr. Gonzalez.


DePuy Synthes is also prioritizing innovation in the operating room. Surgeons may enhance their delivery of care by partaking in DePuy Synthes' educational programs and training experiences.


In one training program, the company has integrated best practices for the anterior approach to hip replacement, designed to enhance clinical outcomes so patients experience a shortened recovery time.


With the shift of volume to ambulatory surgery centers, DePuy Synthes has also focused its efforts to support surgeons in the outpatient setting. The company identified the best practices for which ASCs may leverage DePuy Synthes' products during procedures in the outpatient environment. Additionally, DePuy Synthes offers advice on how an ASC's stakeholders should organize as well as strategies for supply chain management.


Ultimately though, DePuy Synthes leaders recognize how critical patient satisfaction is in a value-based arena.


"From the way patients receive information, clarity of treatment and making sure they go through the whole process preparing for surgery and going through recovery — [we ensure] they have everything they need to work toward the best outcomes possible," says Mr. Gonzalez.


Joining forces to boost care
An active player in collaboration, DePuy Synthes and Johnson & Johnson have entered a spectrum alliances as proof of the company's commitment to enhancing patient care.


"In the context of our innovation agenda, we have to bring forth products and solutions, so you will see us having a very active partnership agenda," Mr. Gonzalez says.


Most recently, DePuy Synthes acquired BioMedical Enterprises, a key player in the small bone fixation market. This acquisition elevated the company's portfolio for elective extremity procedures, including foot and ankle.


DePuy Synthes and Value Stream Partners entered an exclusive strategic alliance in 2016 to jumpstart a bundled payment initiative with a focus on hip and knee replacements. "[This partnership] is an example of DePuy differentiating itself through the marketplace," says Mr. Gonzalez.


In 2015, Johnson & Johnson teamed up with IBM to develop intelligent virtual coaching solutions and applications to transform the patient experience. Through this collaboration Johnson & Johnson and IBM's Watson Health leveraged advanced data analysis to create personalized patient engagement and coaching solutions, hitting on areas from consumer wellness to chronic condition management.


Johnson & Johnson also dove into robotics by joint venturing with Verily Life Sciences (formerly GOOGLE Life Sciences) in 2015. By combining the surgical expertise of Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon with the technological expertise of Verily, the companies are creating a robot capable of integrating into the operating room and providing surgeons with a surgical performance improvement.


"The transformation in the market is quite profound. We have never seen as much change as you see in provider consolidation, payer consolidation, the level of surgeon alignment, advancements in science and technology and rollout of bundled payments," says Mr. Gonzalez. "This market is going to look different, and DePuy Synthes, as part of Johnson & Johnson, has the capabilities to make sure we become the partner of choice for any provider who wants to be successful through that change."


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