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Smart orthopedic implants, devices on the way as OrthoSensor secures $15M.

Talk about convergence.

A health company that’s working in the implantable devices, surgical devices and health IT markets is hoping to improve orthopedic implant placement and performance with its pipeline of smart devices and implants.

OrthoSensor Inc. says it will expand the commercialization of its first product, the OrthoSensor Knee Balancer, and work toward launching additional devices with the $15 million it just tacked on to its series B financing, bringing the round’s total to a cool $36 million.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration-cleared Knee Balancer is a sensor-assisted device that enhances surgical implantation of knee replacements. In addition to sensors, it uses microelectronics and wireless communication to provide real-time data associated with soft tissue tensioning and knee kinematics to surgeons during total knee arthroplasty procedures.

Data from the device is transmitted to a graphic display that uses OrthoSensor’s analytics software platform to help surgeons position and balance the implants with the goal of reducing implant failure. Accurate implant placement and soft tissue balance extend the life of implants and reduce the incidence of revision surgeries, the company says.

Last August, OrthoSensor struck up a partnership with Stryker, so the knee trial is compatible only with the Stryker Triathlon knee implant. But CEO Jay Pierce said it has thepotential to be compatible with any implant.

“One of the benefits of sensor-assisted surgery is its low cost compared to other orthopedic technologies, such as computer and robotic-assisted surgery, which require hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital equipment investments and require costly, proprietary disposables and implants,” Pierce told MedCity News in an email.The single-use Knee Balancer costs $459.

Next on the agenda for OrthoSensor is launching other intraoperative devices for the hip, spine and shoulder, and continuing to develop its line of intelligent implants that would allow doctors to monitor implant function after surgery, Pierce said. That technology is already built, and the company has created prototypes that embed the technology into various implant geometrics on the market today, he added.

The commercialization of the smart implants would give OrthoSensor entry into the growing patient monitoring market on top of the $21 billion orthopedic implant market that’s being boosted by a growing aging population. A company called Ortho-tag is developing a sensor device for orthopedic implants that looks like it could provide similar data, but not in real time.

The Sunrise, Florida-based company has attracted venture dollars from Meditech Equity Partners, Ziegler Meditech Capital Advisors and JP Morgan Highbridge Capital Management. It raised a $6 million series A in 2008.