Diagnostics & Imaging Week National Editor

When it comes to orthopedic case planning, Orthocrat (Petah–Tikva, Israel) has the proverbial better idea.

The company's TraumaCad web–based solution is aimed at helping orthopedic surgeons plan their pending procedures with precision. The software helps surgeons "plan their surgeries with the utmost precision, allowing them to take very precise measurements of the anatomy and implants they will need," Orthocrat said.

TraumaCad allows surgeons to develop a pre–operative surgery plan via clinical manipulation of digital orthopedic images, using the best in image processing techniques, including the application of digitally rendered and accurately–sized fixation systems or prosthetic systems.

The application also includes a set of tools to visualize the reduction of fractures, to determine the axis of deformity, to simulate osteotomy procedures, and much more.

Othocrat says TraumaCad "solves the problem of how to read digital images in situations when the precise scale of a picture is hard to assess, saving doctors time and money, before and during the surgery."

It calls the technology "the most versatile, powerful, web–based solution for orthopedic surgery planning."

Adam Ehrenraich, MD, himself an orthopedic surgeon and TraumaCad product manager, told Diagnostics & Imaging Week during last month's American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS; Rosemont, Illinois) annual meeting in San Francisco: "We make a solution for all kinds of surgeons."

He added, "Orthopedic surgeons may buy a lot of metal [in the form of implants and surgical tools], but what they need is software."

The intent behind the TraumaCad product is to aid in the translation from the imaging studies to the surgical plan. "Translation is a big problem for the orthopedic surgeon," he said. TraumaCad allows those surgeons to determine "exactly how they will conduct the surgery prior to entering the operating room."

TraumaCad's "optimization" of joint replacement procedures "is ideal for complex reconstructions and osteotomies, as well as for standard primary replacements," according to the company.

It said through use of its solution, surgeons evaluate the post–operative anatomical alignment of various surgical scenarios — such as cutting, displacing or implanting — to create what Orthocrat characterizes as "an optimal surgical plan."

The goal is to improve the workflow of the surgeon, who, Ehrenraich said, "is evaluating patients in the clinic, but operating on them in perhaps several hospitals."

The question, he said, "is how do you get these images to the hospital okay?"

Orthoweb allows orthopedic surgeons from private clinics, who often have little or no access to existing hospital PACS, easy access to their patients' files through its secure Internet service that stores pre–operative data and images needed during surgery.

"This is a real step forward in bridging the workflow gap between private clinics and hospitals," said company co–founder Zeev Glozman. "Instead of bringing CDs or devices that need to be hooked up to hospital computers, surgeons can just log onto the Internet and download surgery plans into the operating room with a few clicks."

Orthoweb, which is an add–on service for surgeons, hospitals and research centers currently using the TraumaCad software, also includes an automated system for surgeons to request and book operating rooms by simply e–mailing a patient's file to a hospital, rather than the time–consuming process of faxing or mailing pre–operative data and images.

"Our goal is to develop Orthoweb into a premiere network where physicians and researchers all over the world can share their ideas, their questions and their breakthroughs," said Ehrenraich, calling it "[something] like a Facebook."

The company launched TraumaCad 2.0 at the late–November 2007 meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago.

Version 2.0 provides what Orthocrat terms "additional resources that facilitate more thorough and accurate planning of foot, spine, hip, pediatric and trauma surgeries." The new version also offers more reporting options, as well as patient positioning.

TraumaCad 2.0 provides specialized templates that simplify planning for the most common types of orthopedic surgery, the company said in a statement. It also includes multi–language support.

The company said TraumaCad "integrates seamlessly" with all picture archiving and communications systems (PACS). "Pre–operative planning can be carried out with ease," it said, "and the resulting templated image is saved in the PACS archive as a permanent record."

Traumacad has been installed in more than 700 hospitals, research centers and clinics in the U.S., Europe and Israel.

Also during AAOS, Orthocrat reported a partnership with WebOps Mobile (Atlanta), an online service that streamlines the supply and service chains of medical device companies.

The companies said that through integration of their software, surgeons, technicians and medical device suppliers can use a wireless Bluetooth or PC–connected scanner and a mobile hand–held device to securely and accurately embed patient X–rays and data to a surgical case record in WebOps.

Orthocrat was founded in 2003 by Glozman, an entrepreneur, and Doron Noman, MD, deputy director of the department of orthopedics and traumatology at Rambam Medical Center (Haifa, Israel).