Where will the next innovation come from in spine? Dr. Alpesh Patel says it will be procedural

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |

Alpesh Patel, MD, a spine surgeon with Chicago Spine MD, has a background in spinal implant innovation and development. Here, he discusses the biggest trends in the field and what he thinks will be just a fad.

Dr. Patel is a featured speaker at the Becker's 17th Annual Future of Spine + The Spine, Orthopedic and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference, June 13-15 in Chicago. Click here to learn more and register. For more information about exhibitor and sponsor opportunities, contact Maura Jodoin at mjodoin@beckershealthcare.com.

Question: Which orthopedic device trends and technologies do you see making the biggest impact long term? What do you think is just a fad?

Dr. Alpesh Patel: I think the biggest trends will come from new technologies and devices that address procedural problems: improving safety and predictability of our surgical procedures. This may come in the form of novel implant materials and/or designs that improve fusion rates, new retractors and neural monitoring that decrease collateral damage and new imaging modalities in the operating room that provide real-time 3D anatomy with more precision and more reliability. The fad that we continue to see, however, is the development of non-differentiating devices. This unfortunately creates a larger drag on pricing across the industry that is starting to be tapped into by large health systems.

Q: How do you ensure you're staying on the cutting-edge of your surgical practice while also being mindful of achieving value-based outcomes for your patients?

AP: It's a balance and one that is a challenge. We are looking at new technologies whose added cost can be offset by savings elsewhere. For example, we have been able to successfully bring in NuVasive's 3D printed cervical interbody system by demonstrating a cost savings compared to bone graft expenditures.

Q: What is your best advice for young entrepreneurial surgeons with an idea to improve implants, instruments or technology used to improve the care of orthopedic patients?

AP: We need to diligently ensure that our new technology is safe. Without safety, our reputation as young, innovative surgeons could be harmed substantially and irrevocably.

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