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To enhance the healing process following tooth loss and produce better outcomes after subsequent bone grafts, SweetBio Inc. has developed a dissolvable membrane that contains a small amount of medical-grade Manuka honey. This honey comes from New Zealand and contains the compound MgO, which has been found to have wound healing, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
Clinicians who work with stroke patients are beginning to look at robotics and other innovative technologies in rehabilitation that could allow for more treatments without increasing staffing. Young companies with products in development compete with established players in this market, which eventually could become more important to providers as reform efforts move ahead.
Minimally invasive surgeries, once predicted to replace open surgeries across the board, have never taken off to a great degree, because MIS required more intricate and demanding manipulations that were uncomfortable, if not outright impossible for surgeons. It is against this background of MIS's stalled success that the adoption of minimally invasive techniques in that most unlikely of surgical specialties, orthopedics, and in particular, hip and knee joint replacements, is most amazing. A half decade after the introduction of the first true MIS procedures in total hip replacement, orthopedic surgeons have continued to push penetration rates of MIS well beyond what anyone might have expected.
The $4.6 billion worldwide market for knee arthroplasty is technologically mature, but it is underpenetrated today and it's still growing at a robust 14% annual rate. Furthermore, changes in demographics and patient expectations have created a large, unmet clinical need: the 50-something year old with unbearable knee pain. Today, that is the focus of a great deal of technological innovation-most of it incremental-on the part of large companies that seek to increase the longevity of devices with wear-resistant materials, and technologies that improve device fit, or the precision of placement and the accuracy of alignment of implants. But recently, and somewhat surprisingly, venture-backed start-ups have also begun to enter joint reconstruction with their own technological solutions. Four new companies believe they've staked out spaces ranging from operating alongside multi-billion dollar companies without facing crushing competition from them, to taking a more head-on competitive posture, and in each case, to make a clinical difference.
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