United Orthopaedic Corporation: Quarter-Century of Innovation and Integrated Production
Francois Bopp, President The continuous evolution of medical care space has had a significant increase in the rise in the percentage of life expectancy. Factors such as the increasing geriatric population and acceptance of orthopaedic implants are primarily propelling the market growth. Different innovations leveraging various modern technologies, as to orthopaedic injuries and musculoskeletal diseases are driving the orthopaedic devices market to a significant extent.
United Orthopaedic Corporation (UOC), has been a significant contributor to this market growth with its innovative, regulatory-compliant implants and instrumentation used in total hip and knee replacements and revision surgeries. UOC, from over a quarter of a century, has been offering a flexible range of clinically proven solutions used to perform primary total hip and knee replacement, revision procedures, and oncology applications. It is also worth mentioning that UOC is also one of the very few companies that offer clinical education, customer service, and product support for orthopaedic surgeons and hospital staff as well. “Even in giant companies, they often have outsourced resources in some aspects, but we have everything in-house, which is quite unique for a company of our size,” says Francois Bopp, president (Europe) of UOC.
The company is headquartered in Taiwan with branch offices in the US, Europe, China, and Japan. Its products are currently sold in 38 countries such as Italy, Turkey, Spain, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Thailand, and Puerto Rico. UOC’s vertically integrated manufacturing process is unique. The firm operates Quality Management Systems (QMS) that comply with ISO 13485, FDA, and CE requirements. This process enables UOC to control the production cycle of implants, from initial design to distribution in each of its manufacturing facilities. As a result, the company is capable of ensuring a stable, quality product supply and an extraordinary level of responsiveness and customisation to meet patients’ needs. Since the beginning, the company has been focusing on building a comprehensive quality system to be compliant with FDA, CE, ISO, and all the regulations that make it credible to the industry. “The fact that we are a certified manufacturing partner for many leading orthopaedic companies and that we have never had any major recalls during the past 25 years justifies our efforts,” states Lin. By having in-house vertically integrated manufacturing facilities, UOC can focus on innovation as well as time-to-market. “We make the difference with the instrumentation, which is more simple and still totally precise for the surgeons, and more interesting financially for the hospitals due to less trays and therefore savings in cleaning and sterilization costs” states Bopp.
We make the difference with the instrumentation, which is more simple for the surgeon and cheaper for the hospital
UOC bases its hip and knee implant and instrument designs on first-hand practitioner input, as well as clinical research and in-depth market studies. The firm offers an extensive product range for both hip and knee replacements, which is all done in-house under stringent manufacturing processes, under the supervision of QA teams including engineers, scientists, and inspectors, who continually monitor and assess critical production processes.
The company’s product categories include knee replacement systems, hip replacement systems, and oncology products. Its hip replacement systems include UCP stem, UTF reduced stem, U2 HA stem, U2 matrix porous stem, U2 revision stem, bipolar II system, U2 cemented stem, full XPE cup, revision femoral head, GTF II stem, BIOLOX option, and RepliCase hip. These products reflect UOC’s commitment to addressing some of the challenges in today’s hip replacement market—reducing dislocations and providing solutions that support rapid recovery from surgery.
UOC’s U2 Knee AiO™ Block and Modular Disposable TrialTM (MDT) have earned a Bronze award in the 21st Annual Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA). The U2 Knee AiO Block and MDT were recognised as significant achievements in the “Implant and Tissue- Replacement Product” category. “We take great pride in being recognised for our work and in continuing to improve the total knee replacement experience for surgeons and patients alike,” states Lin.
The U2 Knee AiO Block and MDT are used to assist orthopaedic surgeons in increasing precision and efficiency for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) operations. The AiO Block is a user-friendly instrument that integrates the femoral sizer with the A/P resection guide and enables surgeons to position the U2 Knee femoral components anteriorly and posteriorly properly. It can decrease the possibility of anterior cortex notching and help to prevent mal-rotation. The MDT allows for modular convenience with its intra-operative flexibility of converting from a cruciate-retaining trial to a posterior stabilising version during the surgery. Because of its single-use design, it can improve patient safety by potentially reducing the risk of infection. The combination of U2 Knee AiO Block and MDT allows for the removal of 163 instruments from the sterile field and reduces the total surgical tray count from 6 to 1.5 trays. This reduction has excellent potential to generate significant cost savings.
The COVID-19 Crisis
UOC aims to protect and improve the health of people all around the world.
Never has this purpose been more critical in a time when the world faces an unprecedented threat from COVID-19. As a healthcare company, UOC’s top priority is the safety of the patient as well as its customers and employees and has been closely observing the COVID-19 pandemic and its changing implications. Unlike airline or tourism sectors, which suffered a lot, the orthopaedic industry was merely put on hold for the time being. Patients with hip or knee-related pain or injuries postponed their surgeries, and accordingly, UOC was ready to handle the sudden rise in demand post lockdown by manufacturing and maintaining sufficient stocks. Moreover, UOC was not threatened from an existential point of view due to its strong foothold in the industry. The firm adequately utilised this downtime period by collaborating with key surgeons and significant players in the market to develop new products.
“The fact that we are a certified manufacturing partner for many leading orthopaedic companies and that we have never had any major recalls during the past 25 years justifies our efforts”
What Lies Ahead
“We organize every year a “United European academy” meeting in which we do not compare products, but let surgeons discuss several subjects in a controverse way,” states Bopp. The current president of the European Hip Society is also the chairman of the scientific board of the United European Academy. The Academy has two purpose: the organization of the yearly conference and the clinical follow up of patients.
To become one of the leading innovative orthopaedic companies, UOC is investing in 3D printing and computer-assisted robotic surgery technologies. UOC has also collaborated with THINK Surgical, an advanced orthopaedic robot technology company. Combined with UNITED’s quarter-century reputation as a reliable manufacturer in the medical device space, THINK’s expertise in active robot technologies will offer surgeons more precision and accuracy as they perform personalised, robot-assisted total knee replacement surgeries. The collaboration will focus on harnessing the advantages of each company’s current pioneering technology: THINK’s TSolution One Total Knee Application, which features an active robot, and UNITED’s U2 Knee System. The combination brings additional value for orthopaedic surgeons and hospitals seeking to acquire advanced active robot technology for total knee replacement.
“The world population is aging and is willing to have more mobility, which means it is a growing market,” adds Bopp. UOC is already growing at a pace of thirty per cent per year in Europe. Forging ahead, UOC aims to expand geographically in the eastern parts of Europe, Canada, and Australia. The company’s goal is to become a significant player in every country where it has established a footprint.
Description United Orthopaedic Corporation is an international designer, manufacturer, and distributor of regulatory compliant orthopaedic implants and instrument sets. The company offers solutions used in primary and revision total hip/knee replacement in addition to oncology applications
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