Technology has enabled us to make old processes more efficient, make the world safer, and even make money more easily. And sometimes tech can benefit two fields at once, like sports and healthcare.
About 8.7 percent of all spinal cord injuries, for example, are sports related. These injuries and consequent surgeries can be career-ending, but a company called Xenco Medical is creating products to improve the way spinal surgeries are performed. It designs, manufactures, and markets its breakthrough composite-polymer spinal instruments with pre-attached spinal implants with the intention of making the process more efficient, painless, and cost-effective for both providers and patients.
The hope is that Xenco's revolutionary technology is able to help all sorts of subjects, like athletes, recover much more quickly.
I recently had the opportunity to learn about these innovations with Jason Haider, Founder and CEO of Xenco Medical, with the following being a wrap-up of our discussion.
What are the benefits of a pre-attached spinal implant on spinal instruments?
Haider: By bridging materials science, mechanical design, and advanced sterilization techniques to pre-attach spinal implants onto disposable delivery instruments, we've developed a technology that outperforms traditional systems in mechanical consistency and the risk of pathogen transmission, and that fundamentally changes the internal logistics of both hospitals and outpatient surgery centers.
What enabled you to commercialize your technology?
Haider: It starts at the microscopic level. The unique strength of the interfacial bond in our composite polymer systems has been central to making commercialization possible.
Leveraging materials science enabled the development of devices with a remarkable strength-to-weight ratio, allowing for systems that are as strong as metal but capable of being injection molded. Years of development gave way to Xenco Medical's patented process, allowing for surgical systems so lightweight that it was possible to develop a comprehensive portfolio of sterile-packaged, surgical systems at a significantly lower cost than traditional systems.
What risks does your technology reduce for the patient?
Haider: That's a great question. Xenco Medical's technology has had a huge impact in reducing the numerous risks patients face during each procedure. From eliminating the risk of patient-to-patient pathogen transfer from improperly sterilized delivery devices to the risk of infection from bioburden that accumulates on unpackaged implants and instruments during a surgical procedure, the single-use systems have been extremely effective. Beyond the risk of infection, the consistent calibration of the devices ensures the patient will not be subjected to a device's mechanical failure due to repeated use.
Xenco's technology may be microscopic, but it's powerful, with the potential to impact patients ranging from disease sufferers to injured athletes. By packaging the instruments with the spinal implant pre-attached and sterilizing the tools before sealing them, Xenco Medical is saving hospitals and surgery centers an incredible amount of time, money, and other vital resources.