Founded in 2018, PathKeeper is an Israeli-based startup company that has developed an innovative robotic navigation system for orthopedic surgeries.
The name PathKeeper effectively describes the essence of the system - a 3D navigation system that 'keeps' the surgical 'path' on course throughout the surgery.
The company was established by Josh Schroeder, MD, Director of Spinal Deformities Surgery at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel and Erez Lampert. Mr. Lampert is a top 3D medical imaging expert with over 20 years of experience in the healthcare and aerospace industries, He has published several patents in the field of 3D cameras in medical applications and recently led the development of the Itero Element Intraoral Scanner for Align technology (Invsigalign), the leading 3D dental scanner in the world.
Their combined knowledge enabled them to develop an innovative navigation system that outperforms existing solutions.
PathKeeper is dedicated to improving the health of individuals around the world suffering from orthopedic deformities and its vision is to make navigation-guided surgery available to any patient in all sized operating rooms.
Image courtesy of Blausen.com staff (2014). "Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014". WikiJournal of Medicine
WHY INVEST IN PATHKEEPER?
Dan J. Gelvan, PhD
The 'free-hand' technique is the most prevalent approach in spinal surgery and requires physicians to take CT and X-ray images throughout the procedure in order to accurately position the surgical screws. The main shortfall of this method is that it is highly dependent on the physician's skill, and screw placement errors can reach upwards of 30%. Surgical navigation systems have significantly improved placement accuracy and provide an accuracy level of 1.5-2 mm. However, the majority of the systems rely on CT and X-ray scans taken during the procedure, and since they are static, they cannot provide the highest level of accuracy. In both cases, the use of CT and X-ray scans creates ionizing radiation within the operating theater which poses a significant health hazard to both physicians and patients.
Current navigation systems are expensive, a factor that has prevented their adaptation many operating rooms. Furthermore, they have long set up time of 30 minutes which increases the length of the procedure and have a large form factor which makes them immobile and unsuitable for smaller operating rooms.
PathKeeper's has worked with world renowned orthopedic surgeons to develop a platform that overcomes these barriers. Its proprietary navigation system is uniquely capable of providing sub-millimeter placement accuracy. The technology combines a 3D camera with state-of-the-art AI software and machine learning that continuously tracks the anatomy and provides real-time guidance. As opposed to all other navigation system, the anatomical map is continuously updated and the surgeon does not need to pause the procedure in order to update it.
A major differentiator of the PathKeeper platform is that it only uses a preoperative CT scan, creating a radiation-free operational environment. The platform also reduces surgery time with its quick and easy 30 second tool calibration and 30 second registration process. Importantly, the system has a very small form factor that makes it highly mobile and which enables it to be easily transferred between clinics or operating rooms. The product has also be deigned to be competitively priced, making it an attractive and affordable alternative for smaller hospitals and clinics.