Matt Adams discusses the first surgical camera for arthroscopy and general endoscopy
Minnetronix Medicala company specializing in medical device innovations, and Lazuritea pre-revenue medical device startup, are the developers of the ArthroFree™ Wireless Surgical Camera System, which is the first camera system to receive FDA clearance for arthroscopy and general endoscopy.
DocWire News spoke with Matt Adams, General Manager of Minnetronix, who spoke in detail about this exciting new innovation.
DocWire News: Can you provide us with some professional information about yourself?
Matt Adams: So I have north of 20 years all in medical devices, experience ranges from big blue chip companies like a few different companies at Medtronic to some startups, both in biotech and medical devices and i ‘ve been with Minnetronix for nearly six years responsible for our optics and fluids businesses as well as our Cerevention brand of neural products.
Tell us about Minnetronix Medical – what is the company’s mission and value proposition?
Absolutely. Minnetronix is a 26-year-old contract product development and manufacturing company located in St. Paul, Minnesota. I have a 180,000 square foot facility here, about 500 employees, about two-thirds of whom are all engineers. You can think of us as the launch company. Frankly, we serve medical device companies around the world, and we partner with them throughout product development. We start early in product development and will remain a partner through their product launch through manufacturing, throughout the manufacturing life and into their generation two, three and four products as they go. as they are launched.
Tell us about the ArthroFree Wireless Surgical Camera System – why and how was it developed?
From a Minnetronix perspective, that really leveraged our strength in optics where we have dedicated optical engineers, we have dedicated optical manufacturing facilities, supply chain, all kinds of things that would support products very high end like this. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to partner with Lazurite in the development of Arthrofree, one of the first wireless arthroscopes to be launched in the United States. Very exciting product and you can imagine the challenges there are both around image quality and latency so speed all equivalent to a wired system which is what is commonly used in practice standard today, get all that quality embodied and now a much easier to use wireless system.
How does this device work?
You have to be able to pick up the same picture quality as in a wired system you have to be able to do all that processing to optimize that picture quality and then you send it back to a receiving unit where obviously it can be displayed on a bigger screen. All that optical imaging, image processing, and transmission of data to a central unit where it can be displayed and used by the doctor, these are the workings of the system. The magic that Minnetronix brought to this case was being able to get that picture quality equivalent to what you would find in a wired system and transmit as fast as you would find in a wired system, that’s not trivial and was able be accomplished because of the close partnership between our engineers and the good engineers at Lazurite and the depth of expertise we brought in optical engineering, optical engineering and image processing.
What impact can this device have on the medical community?
Well, definitely just ease of use. Having your first wireless system in the hands of doctors is a pretty big step forward in terms of managing your operating room and maneuvering around a patient and I certainly think you’re having a chat with one of doctors coming soon, I look forward to hearing their first hand experience.
What other devices does Minnetronix currently have in its pipeline?
Well, our pipeline is huge, so the business is organized around four different key technology segments. The optics, very relevant for this example and our partnership with Lazurite, fluids where we carry out various programs. Examples could include an artificial uterus, in fact, which is currently in development, a number of oblation systems to treat anywhere from prostate cancer to blood clot treatment, we have an RF or radio frequency business which has a variety of different systems dealing with a huge number of different disease states, frankly, a lot of tissue oblation in that space, dealing with a number of different lesions, including cancerous tumors and that sort of thing. Then we have a segment of wearables, stems and wearables where controllers for left ventricular assist devices are a great example, so life-saving technologies.
Additionally, we have our own brand of products marketed under Cerevention where we have been able to expand the typical contract design and manufacturing offerings where a partner can come to us with their own product they need help with development, he needs manufacturing help, we’ve been able to expand this offering by delivering our own fully finished products, so engineered, designed, developed, through the FDA, and ready to drop into the vending bag of a partner in a fully complete form. We were able to add a product brand called, it is marketed under Cerevention in this case, which fills this need and now becomes the largest end-to-end product development and manufacturing partner available.
For us, yes. Working with Lazurite was frankly a great example of where we show up as a launch company. If you’re a medical device company that develops, manufactures, or even seeks fully-featured products that can be dropped right into your sales bag, Minnetronix is the place to be.