Johnson & Johnson Medical Announces Strategic Partnership With Aussie Startup Navbit To Bring Smartphone-Inspired Tech To Hip Replacement Surgery

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Hip dislocation post hip replacement surgery remains one of the most common causes of revision surgery[i]

Research shows half of acetabular cup implants are unable to achieve their target orientation[ii] due to surgical placement, which can contribute to the risk of hip dislocation,[iii] hip joint wearing out and discomfort[iv]

Johnson & Johnson Medical has entered into an agreement with Navbit to launch Navbit Sprint in Australia – a new navigation system utilising smart sensor technology to assist surgeons in aligning the acetabular cup.

Sydney, Australia, June 24, 2021 – DePuy Synthes in Australia, a business unit of Johnson & Johnson Medical Pty Ltd, today announced it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Australian start-up Navbit to introduce the Navbit Sprint into operating theatres across the country.

The Australian-made innovation is a compact, single use medical device designed to assist surgeons in placing and aligning the acetabular cup, a component that is placed into the hip socket during joint replacement surgery. It uses sensor technology to provide real-time feedback to the surgeon on the position of the cup throughout the procedure.

Sue Martin, managing director for Johnson & Johnson Medical Australia & New Zealand, says she welcomes the relationship: “We see this collaboration as a great opportunity to support an Australian medical innovation, while at the same time bringing a doctor and patient-centric solution to the market.”

In Australia, over 40,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed every year[v] and almost 20 percent of these patients undergo revision surgery within 10 years of having the procedure.[vi] Revisions can be required for many reasons, however hip dislocation remains the second most common cause.i Research shows half of acetabular cup implants fail to achieve their target orientation due to surgical placement.ii Despite advances in surgical technique, accuracy of cup placement remains variable due to factors such as the anatomy of the pelvis, stiffness of the spinopelvic area, functional positions of the pelvis, its position at setup and movement during surgery, reference frames used and the way angles are measured.[vii]

Ms Martin says that even though existing hip navigation technologies can help surgeons achieve better alignment of the cup to the pelvic socket, they are seldom used in practice.

“Existing hip navigation technologies tend to be cumbersome and complicated. However, we do know that cup position is very important. Published data tells the story clearly: half of all acetabular cups aren’t correctly aligned, which increases the risk of hip dislocation,i hip joint wearing out and discomfort following the surgery,iv which can all have detrimental effect on patients’ quality of life. Achieving the right alignment without technology is quite difficult, even for the most highly trained surgical eye.

“Navbit is the ideal company to work with, as they share our commitment to reimagine the way healthcare is delivered and to help people live longer, healthier lives,” Ms Martin added.

Navbit Sprint has been included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) following assessment by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and has been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and granted a CE Mark in Europe. This means it can be used by surgeons in Europe, the United States and Australia.

Navbit Sprint is available now to orthopaedic surgeons throughout Australia.

About DePuy Synthes:
DePuy Synthes, the Orthopaedics Company of Johnson & Johnson, provides one of the most comprehensive orthopaedics portfolios in the world that helps heal and restore movement for the millions of patients we serve. DePuy Synthes solutions, in specialties including joint reconstruction, trauma, craniomaxillofacial, spinal surgery and sports medicine, in addition to the VELYS™ Digital Surgery portfolio, are designed to advance patient care while delivering clinical and economic value to health care systems worldwide.

Building on our proud product innovation and legacy of industry firsts, we are reimagining the orthopaedic landscape with new advancements in medical technologies and digital surgery across the entire continuum of care to Keep People Moving today and tomorrow.

About Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies:
At Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, we are helping people live their best lives. Building on more than a century of expertise, we tackle pressing healthcare challenges, and take bold steps that lead to new standards of care while improving people’s healthcare experiences. In surgery, orthopaedics, vision and interventional solutions, we are helping to save lives and paving the way to a healthier future for everyone, everywhere.

[i] Reported Hip Procedures, Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry, Available at: , Accessed in February 2021.

[ii] The John Charnley Award: Risk Factors for Cup Malpositioning. Quality Improvement Through a Joint Registry. at a Tertiary Hospital, Mark C. Callanan MA, Bryan Jarrett BS, Charles R. Bragdon PhD, David Zurakowski PhD, Harry E. Rubash MD, Andrew A. Freiberg MD, Henrik Malchau MD, PhD, Published online: 18 August 2010. Accessed in February 2021.

[iii] Can some early revision total hip arthroplasties be avoided?, Available at: , Accessed in February 2021.

[iv] Cup positioning in total hip arthroplasty, Thierry Scheerlinck, From the Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, available at: . Accessed in February 2021.

[v] Reported Hip Procedures, Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry, Available at: , Accessed in February 2021.

[vi] Hip, Knee & Shoulder Arthroplasty Annual Report 2019, Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry, Available at: . Accessed in February 2021.

[vii] Current Concepts in Acetabular Positioning in Total Hip Arthroplasty, Available at: , Accessed in February 2021.