Two million people globally have total knee surgery each year, a figure that is predicted to rise to 3.5 million by 2030. Currently, up to 20% of patients are dissatisfied with the outcome of their surgery. Yorkshire-based med tech company Eventum Orthopaedics aims to change that, supported by Innovate UK EDGE.
The start-up has developed technology that helps surgeons during the operative process. It provides real-time intraoperative data that enables surgeons to make better decisions while operating. The aim is to improve patient outcomes, reduce the need for repeat operations and reduce the financial cost to the NHS.
According to John Naybour, CEO and founder of Eventum Orthopaedics, there are roughly 90,000 knee operations in the UK each year. And roughly 18,000 of those patients are dissatisfied with the results, complaining of pain and/or a lack of stability when they move. Repeat surgery often costs around £26,000 but can cost up to £40,000 and it isn’t always successful. “That’s roughly £90 million a year in costs to the NHS,” says Naybour. “We could save the NHS a huge amount of money.”
The problem, according to Naybour, is that surgeons currently don’t have a good way of balancing the forces around the kneecap. Eventum Orthopaedics’ sensor technology focuses on the positioning of the kneecap, measuring the forces between the patella (the small bone in front of the knee joint) and the femur (thighbone). “We’ve created a surgical tool that allows surgeons to modify what they are doing. It’s designed to give surgeons better information so they can make better surgical decisions. It’s a completely new way of looking at total knee surgery.”
Also, because the tool collects data, it will form the basis of a data analysis platform, enabling the surgical community to learn from previous cases. Naybour says this is the only technology of its kind globally.
Innovate UK EDGE helps with med tech IP and product development
It all started in March 2020, when Naybour discussed the idea with his co-founders. In November 2021, Innovate UK EDGE came on board to help with several key areas of the business:
- product development strategy
- digital and data strategy development
- intellectual property development and exploitation
Innovate UK EDGE Innovation and Growth Specialist Marcus Orton has helped with its approaches in these key areas. As part of its support, Eventum received funded access to innovation infrastructure and deep intellectual property expertise through a total of £25,000 in grants (Catapults and Research & Technology Organisations, IP Access and IP Audit). One of its products has been granted a patent and two new patent applications are underway.
In the course of his worked he has helped the company forge connections with several useful organisations, such as the AMRC in Sheffield and Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) catalyst centres. And he has provided invaluable support in helping identify the most appropriate funding strategy and how to navigate the grant applications process. “Marcus helped us to chart the way through the process,” says Naybour. “He has been amazing.”
As a result, the start-up successfully applied for a £30,000 CPI grant. Now Eventum Orthopedics is using Innovate UK EDGE as a touchpoint as it makes a Biomedical Catalyst application.
It is also developing a new product, one that will help surgeons monitor the progress of patients after surgery. With the product Track Sense, surgeons will be notified if patients are not active enough, prompting them to identify any problems early on. Again, this will lead to better patient outcomes and reduce the need for further surgery.
Marcus helped us to chart the way through the process...he has been amazing.”
John Naybour, CEO and founder of Eventum Orthopaedics