Hot Startups (just my opinion) |

Hot Startups (just my opinion)


What are the HOT STARTUPS in Orthopedics right now?

People ask me this question all the time. I have a good eye for picking the startups that are positioned for big disruption and success.  This skill served me well in joining Ellipse Technologies just before it took off.

Right now, I like these 14 startups because they are innovating, thinking BIG and taking chances. (100% my opinion, no one is paying me.)

Here we go.

OsteoRemedies (Memphis) – Category: Infection

I have been watching OsteoRemedies since 2014. They have carved out an impressive niche in orthopedics, Periprosthetic Joint Infection, and have dominated it with better technology. They are killing it!  OsteoRemedies is  the perfect example of Lesson #2 – Start by solving a big problem in a smallish market.  OsteoRemedies has quickly created a market leadership position in cement spacers for two-stage revision and have achieved recognition for innovating in a market segment that falls behind other segments due to market size and brings solutions to surgeons and patients looking for devastating clinical problems.

Bio2 Technologies (Boston) – Category: New Material

Who wants permanent metal or PEEK implant in their spine?

Answer: nobody.

Bio2 Technologies has developed a loaded bearing, porous material constructed exclusively of bioactive glass that can do what a Ti spine cage can do, then magically turn into bone utilizing the body’s natural bone remodeling process. I think of it as “metal-to-bone” material with great load bearing capacity. By the way, this isn’t just science, their material has been used in over a thousand foot and ankle wedge implantations.

Here’s the technical marketing pitch – Vitrium® is a new class of resorbable orthobiomaterial with broad application in musculoskeletal surgery. Vitrium differentiates itself from existing  biologics and biomaterials by enabling the surgeon to reconstruct bony anatomy without the clinical compromises inherent in currently available technologies. Vitrium is porous, load-bearing, osteoconductive and bioactive. Bio2 has a growing body of clinical experience with extremities products, and has a pipeline of interbody spine fusion solutions in development.

Micro-C (Savannah, GA) – Category: Imaging

Micro C is a surgeon-inventor startup with a better, cheaper, safer, and more versatile C-arm.  Think about a C-arm the size of an iron for extremities. With an expected FDA clearance soon, Dr Greg Kolovich and team will announce the launch of their new imaging system and start clinicals.

Listen:  “Inside Orthopedicspodcast # 19
Read:  Micro-C website:

TracPatch (Sacramento, CA) – Category: Wearables

TracPatch is actually a startup within an established orthopedics company, Consensus Orthopedics has been making total joints for over 20 years.  Consensus… great work for thinking outside the box on how to improve total joint outcomes. TracPatch is a revolutionary device empowering at-home patient recovery and remote monitoring for effective managed care. With a focus on evidence-based medicine, TracPatch is changing patient care and the future of orthopedics.

Trice Medical (Malvern, PA) – Category: Joint Diagnostics

Trice has a greatly disruptive product, an instant MRI in the doctors office for $450.  Patients get an instant diagnosis. A clinical trial will study the diagnostic arthroscopy in the physicians office using a needle with a camera and light source. They are just getting started. Their second generation Mi-Eye is fast and simple as a needle biopsy and the image is great.  Raised $18M in Series B and held the first-ever National Sales meeting in 2017. They have a CPT Codes for Diagnostic Arthroscopy.   Watch Trice!

An Orthopedics Startup is quietly dominating Dynamic Imaging

Augmedics (Israel) – Category: Spine

Israel-based Augmedics, founded in 2014, created a surgical technology that overlays spinal information on the spine of a patient via a headset.

The AR display combines the digital and physical worlds to effectively allow surgeons to look underneath a spinal patient’s skin. It’s the closest thing you can find to X-ray vision in the real world.

Like the AccuVein systems, Augmedics’ xvision allows users to view the anatomy of a patient without incisions, which enables them to perform more procedures externally or through minimally invasive surgeries.

Billed as “see through surgery,” the xvision system employs transparent AR displays from Lumus, a company that makes many of the see-through AR lenses for high quality commercial headsets.

In2Bones Global (Memphis, TN) –  Category:  Extremities

In2Bones is on fire! Starting in August 2016, the company completed a consolidation merger with its French subsidiary, In2Bones, SAS (Lyon, France) to form In2Bones Global, Inc headquartered in Memphis, TN. Since the merger, the company has launched several innovative products including the NeoView® PEEK Distal Radius Plate, the NeoSpan® SuperElastic Compression Staple, the Reference Toe System™, AlloAid® PIP, AlloAid® Nail, the CoLink™ Forefoot Plating System, the 5MS™ 5th Metatarsal Fracture Repair System and the CoLag™ Compression Screw System.The CoLag™ Screw represents an entirely new concept in orthopaedic bone fixation.Almost nothing has happened in orthopaedic screw design in the past 25 years.The CoLag™ screw with its “compressive stability” feature highlights the true game changing design work of In2Bones.As is true with all In2Bones implants, the CoLag Screw is providedsterile, UDI compliant and traceable.In2Bones is growing and advancing the science within the extremity market.It is a company to watch! 

ActiveProtective (Philadelphia, PA) – Category: Trauma

APT is trying to solve the coming epidemic of fragility hip fractures as the baby boomers move into their 8th decade.  APT has developed a wearable belt that deploys an airbag when a fall is detected to help prevent hip fractures in older adults.  They are focusing on a consumer play in the personal safety category (translation – no FDA). Huuuuuge market, a small team, a recently closed $2.6M seed round and a Series A round, and will complete their first pilot in 2017.  Watch the Ted Talk (5 mins)

These guys are ones to watch.

Enhatch (Hoboken, NJ) – Category: Software

Enhatch is developing AI for the medical device industry focused on improving planning, logistics, and education. Their system can actually predict implant sizing from plain 2D x-rays. Started in 2012, Enhatch was born out of founders Peter Verrillo and Mike Phipps’ real-life challenges in developing and commercializing implants and instruments for the Stryker Corporation. In 2015, Enhatch acquired Surgisoft, the most advanced medical device inventory management solution in the industry. Since then, Enhatch has built the Intelligent Surgery Platform™ enabling device manufacturers to facilitate patient-specific planning software, inventory management, sales management and financial reporting.

ReJoint (Milan, Italy) – Category: Total Joints

ReJoint, an entrepreneurial group in Italy is challenging the status quo.  This is the first startup to bring together all of the latest technologies for a better TKA product and service.  ReJoint is leveraging AI + 3D printing + wearables.  They are partnering with Enhatch for the Fit2Kit algorithm. ReJoint has a library of  thousands of sizes for each patient (any combination of lateral and medial geometries), but in the end, only one (the perfect fit) is shipped to the surgery.  Think no-overhand or under-hang for femoral and tibial bone coverage.  First-in-man surgeries are scheduled for early 2019.

The NextStep Companies (Akron, OH) – Category: Total Joints

Randy Theken, known as the founder of Theken Spine, is a young serial entrepreneur that you have to take seriously.  He has just gone “all in” on additive manufacturing.  He’s created three complementary companies – NextStep Arthropedix, NextStep Ideas, and Slice Manufacturing Studios – that will deliver disruptive 3D printed technology in total joints.  Randy claims, “Within five years, I intend to be able to make the claim: NextStep is the largest medical device manufacturer producing implant devices, using 3D printing technology.”  Still pretty stealthy.  Stay tuned.  For more insight read – A peek into serial entrepreneur Randy Theken’s new venture, NextStep

OrthoSpace (Caesarea, Israel) – Category: Sports Medicine [ ACQUIRED ]

There are few good options for patients with massive rotator cuff tears.  Enter OrthoSpace. They have created a biodegradable balloon that acts as a spacer or bursa between the acromion and the humeral head.  The InSpace balloon creates a physical barrier between tissues in the subacromial space.  This low invasive procedure just takes a few minutes.  OrthoSpace raised $7M last Christmas.  OrthoSpace is selling in Europe and enrolling in a US clinical study. Surgery Animation

Treace Medical (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL) – Category: Extremities

Bunion deformity surgery has a bad rap.Given the vast majority of surgical treatments are “metatarsal osteotomies” with published recurrence rates as high as 78%, it isn’t hard to see why!While osteotomies by nature address only the “symptom” of the bunion, Treace Medical has developed a game-changing surgical treatment, called the “Lapiplasty procedure”, designed to reproducibly correct the multi-plane bunion deformity at its root cause. The company believes Lapiplasty will change the negative stigma of bunion surgery by dramatically reducing recurrence rates and improving the mechanics and function of the affected toe. Over the past year the Lapiplasty procedure has gained rapid clinical adoption and was recently awarded a broad method patent. A large neglected market, a disruptive therapy, plus an “A-list” board of directors with a track record for home runs, puts this one on my radar.

Green Sun Medical (Fort Collins, CO) – Category: Spine 

These guys have developed a smart brace for scoliosis for children called Whisper. Goal is to reverse the scoli forces as the kid grows, to have a more comfortable brace that kids will actually wear, and to avoid surgery. Currently in clinicals.

What startups am I missing?