“If we don’t challenge the way things have always been; we’ll never discover the greatest breakthroughs of our future.” This powerful sentiment is one which Formus Labs is determined to pursue, having ushered in the ‘tomorrow’ of orthopaedic planning.
Joint replacement surgery is extremely technical and each procedure is unique since each patient requires different sized and positioned parts. Additionally, the process to accurately diagnose, size and complete a joint replacement is currently fraught with time-intensive manual imaging processing, as well as other costs related to sterilisation and shipping logistics when it comes to the range of trays needed for each surgery.
Formus Labs have revolutionised the orthopedic planning process through state-of-the-art automation. The startup’s world-first platform uses artificial intelligence and biomechanics to produce fully interactive 3D models that pinpoint the size and orientation required before a patient even enters the operating room. The platform also allows surgeons to work on cases remotely at any hospital anywhere in the world, significantly reducing patient wait times, improving overall workflow, and ultimately creating better outcomes.
Founded in 2016, the company operates across New Zealand, Australia and soon US, Europe and Japan - with an enviable distribution partnership with Zimmer Biomet, a global medical technology leader, who are committed to the co-development and commercialization of Formus Hip in Australia and New Zealand.
“As our lead investor, GD1 has been an incredible partner, going to great lengths to tap into the ecosystem on our behalf globally - including reaching out to find quality partners and mentors to support our team. Their operating team has a very diverse skill set and they’re unafraid of stepping in and ‘getting their hands dirty’. From helping us lead finance discussions with accounting firms for international expansion; to connecting us with marketing and social media strategists - they’ve helped build a support network around us and this has helped strengthen and refine our company processes and operating structures. They have promoted, connected, mentored and given us counsel and this has shaped what Formus Labs has been able to achieve,” comments Ju.
We share a little more about their journey.
What problem does Formus Labs solve?
There is widespread agreement that the process around orthopaedic surgeries remains inefficient, with poor surgical planning and execution, resulting in undesirable and unacceptable outcomes. Right now, there are over 200,000 revision surgeries performed annually in the US alone. Globally, one in five knee replacements are unsatisfactory and one in ten hip replacements need revision, which ends up costing the orthopedic industry $10 billion (USD) per year.
Whilst joint implant hardware has been refined with greater precision, the analysis and planning around the selection of implant size, technological advancement around joint placement and overall pre and post-operative mechanics have been largely neglected. These often rely on somewhat antiquated methods, such as those that require human intervention to construct and review pre-operative plans, adding time, cost and unnecessary complexity to the treatment process.
Formus Labs has a strong and powerful vision - to empower orthopaedic surgeons worldwide to employ state-of-the-art planning processes with 3D imaging and analytics as the new standard of care.
Why is Formus Labs such a well-loved product?
The Formus Labs solution will modernise the orthopaedics industry, with tremendous benefits to patients, surgeons and hospitals, including:
Why did Formus Labs seek funding?
Formus Labs has an incredible opportunity to tap into a growing, global market. Across the four major joint replacement segments - hip, shoulder, spine and knee - the worldwide industry is worth around US$28B annually. What’s more, the proportion of the global population aged 65 and over is expected to grow from 9% to 12% by 2030, representing around one billion people, with the number of required joint replacement surgeries anticipated to double.
Its Pre-Series A funding will be channeled to accelerate product development and expansion into the US. The startup also aims to maximise the commercialisation of its data analytics capabilities as well as integration with other product segments, including intra-operative, prehab and rehab planning and treatment.
Why is Formus Labs a great investment for GD1?
GD1 considers Formus Labs to be a category creator. Its software capability is best-in-breed; and its capacity for sound, solid leadership - coupled with an appetite for growth - is a formidable combination that we’re confident will see it succeed on the global healthcare stage.