How Medicrea is personalizing spine care

Spinal Tech

Medicrea has its sights set on dominating the next-generation market of comprehensive personalized spine care.

"We take a slightly different line than the historical commercial approach to spine implants," says Rick Kienzle, Lyon, France-based Medicrea's chief commercial officer and business development officer. "We're designing, developing and marketing comprehensive, personal solutions for the complex spine market."

Medicrea is making a name for itself in the market, recently reaching a milestone of 1,000 completed procedures with its UNiD Rod technology. 'UNiD' stands for 'unique ID,' reflecting every individual's unique code for sagittal balance. The UNiD Rod is custom-designed to match the patient's unique spinal alignment, as well as align with the surgeon's preoperative plan.

The company also achieved an industry first by guaranteeing a lifetime warranty for its patient-specific UNiD spinal rods and hardware. The structural integrity warranty encompasses all UNiD Thoracolumbar Rods, UNiD Cervical Rods and all associated Medicrea components implanted in the United States from Nov. 1, 2016 onwards.

"Our results from those [1,000 UNiD Rod procedures] and all the data analyses that we've completed since the first procedure are really strong," adds Mr. Kienzle. "Our UNiD technology is performing at a rate that has enabled us to make this announcement and put this guarantee in place."

More spine surgeons have taken notice of the company's technology, which extends beyond just the rods. The UNiD technology platform offers preoperative planning services; custom rod delivery based on the patient's plan; and a postoperative confirmation that the surgeon achieved the plan and restored the patient's unique sagittal balance.

Mr. Kienzle notes the UNiD platform and Lab services align with the trend toward value-based care and data-driven medicine. Value is based on data, and data identifies which technology works for which indication. The company's technological process possesses an iterative learning capacity, so the more the surgeon uses it, the more data will be available to benchmark the next procedures. In essence, the system has a self-improvement mechanism, learning with each use.

"That's the heart of UNiD — we're using preoperative data and software technology to plan the correct procedure and unique implant for that procedure. And the outcomes are better as a result of that," he explains.

Heading into 2017, Medicrea intends to release new, comprehensive technologies for the anterior, middle and posterior columns — all personalized, of course. The technologies will include 3D-printed vertebral body replacements as well as 3-D-printed intervertebral spacers.


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