The Veterinary Innovation Summit – Thoughts from Arbutus Medical

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Arbutus Medical, a Canadian medical device company developing innovative and cost-effective orthopedic tools, recently attended the Veterinary Innovation Summit, hosted at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. We chatted with them about their key learnings and what the summit means for veterinary medicine. 

arbutus medical logo

To begin, what is the Veterinary Innovation Summit?

The Veterinary Innovation Summit is a collaboration between the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC), the Veterinary Innovation Council (VIC) and Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (CVM). It brings together veterinary professionals and leaders from new and innovative sectors to discuss what the future of veterinary medicine could look like. Topics included advancements in augmented and virtual reality, medical imaging, artificial intelligence, e-commerce and telemedicine. 

arbutus tools

What are some highlights from key speakers?

A company called Wild Earth is using a fermentation process (similar to that required to brew beer) to produce edible proteins, without the use of animals; Petriage is developing a telemedicine platform of sick pets and Dr. Daniel Kraft spoke about exponential medicine and using technology to transition from reactive care to proactive care. Hear about more highlights here

How does this relate to Arbutus Medical?

Arbutus Medical was founded on the mission of breaking down barriers to safe surgery. Our approach was to use the concept of frugal innovation. In the words of Navi Radjou and Jaideep Prabhu, two innovation scholars, with frugal innovation, “one sees resource constraints not as a liability, but as an opportunity…[one] strives to create good quality solutions that deliver the greatest value to customers at the lowest cost”. 

Using this concept, we developed the DrillCover technology, which converts a hardware power tool (such as a drill or oscillating saw) into a surgical power tool. These orthopedic power tools are sterile, easy-to-use and match the ergonomics of a conventional surgical drill. 

How is Arbutus Medical innovating in veterinary medicine?

The DrillCover technology enables us to provide sterile and affordable orthopedic power tools for veterinarians. The orthopedic drills are used in fracture fixation and CCL repairs (such as lateral suture, TTA and TPLO procedures) and the oscillating saws in osteotomies, amputations and arthroplasties. This equipment is not only sterile, but also provides faster surgery times and improved surgery outcomes. 

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