What Drives Meaningful Change in the Spine Segment?

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Written by Jordy Winters, DePuy Synthes Spine EMEA Lead

Working in orthopedics, one of the most dynamic sectors in healthcare, I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to impact the betterment of life, not only for myself and my loved ones, but also hopefully for humanity at large. And where else can one feel this type of impact more intensely than at AO Davos Courses 2019? Davos is largely viewed as THE flagship educational event of the legendary orthopedics institution known as the AO Foundation, and the AO Spine components of the event never disappoint. AO annually hosts thousands of attendees and offers hundreds of years of cumulative faculty expertise to effect positive change and improve surgical outcomes.

“Technological evolution is the result of our own desire to lead a better life.” - R.S. Amblee

Reaching high standards of excellence

In spinal surgery, where a life is often at stake, using quality, trusted, and reliable products is essential. But what makes them so? I can’t help but be fascinated by the strict quality control measures, meticulous attention to production detail, and unwavering commitment to going above and beyond the toughest standards that our partnership with AO inspires year after year.

Product development based on the latest clinical research and insights is a big part of the puzzle. We also stand by our legacy of safety, as we partner to test products continuously through AO studies conducted across 350 clinics in 45 countries. We also continue to feel proud of having passed the toughest test by obtaining certification from the AO Technical Commission on almost all our products. AO’s trust in us is in turn evident in the exclusive use of our products during hands-on educational segments. At the forefront of innovation

With a lot of attention and demand from clinicians for new solutions to address procedural limitations, the complex cervical surgery segment is undergoing quite a dynamic evolution. And like in any meaningful work in progress, opportunity areas unfold daily as the industry tests new approaches to spinal care. Our close alignment with AO Spine positions us extremely well to glean meaningful insights – real-time – from some of the best experts in the field. Additionally, our affiliations with other industry-leading spine organizations, like International Spine Study Group (ISSG) and European Spine Study Group (ESSG) have helped us to further our in-depth research and development of targeted solutions.

For example, with the help of many expert surgeons and clinical research professionals, we recently announced a new cervical spine system to help spine surgeons serve patients with complex cervical spine disorders. I’m personally looking forward to continuing to discuss this new market development with spine experts from around the world in the remaining days here at Davos and to obtaining their further insights to drive future advancements in spinal care.

Helping shape the future of spinal surgery

Another topic of conversations that I’ve enjoyed diving into more deeply at Davos is MIS, which was a focus of our recent EMEA Minimally Invasive Surgery Advisory Board Meeting. At this meeting, we welcomed 9 internationally renowned spine surgeons who are actively involved with AO Spine and their National Spine societies. Amongst them were Prof. Richard Assaker and Dr. Avelino Parajon, MD, members of the AO MISS Task Force, who are helping shape the Degenerative Spine Educational Pathway along with many other experts. We also hosted a workshop to delve more deeply into the Degenerative Spine Treatment Algorithm and ERP (Enhanced Recovery Pathway) principles as they apply to spinal surgery.

Many, if not all, of the Advisory Board Meeting participants are also actively involved with AO Spine and their National Spine societies. We continue enjoying interaction with them here in Davos to support them in their commitment to modernizing spinal surgery. Regarding our fascinating discussions with all the spine experts here, we thank you for sharing your insights with us, and look forward to interacting with you all in and beyond the rest of the conference to glean valuable insights from the experiences you share with us.