Founded in 2018, PathKeeper is an Israeli-based startup company that has developed an innovative 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 Mr. Erez Lampert, a top 3D medical imaging expert with over 20 years of experience in the healthcare and aerospace industries. Erez has several published patents in the field of 3D cameras in medical applications and recently led the development of the Itero Element Intraoral Scanner for Align Technology (Invisalign), the leading 3D dental scanner in the world. After a chance meeting with
Josh Schroeder, MD, Director of Spinal Deformities Surgery at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel, and understanding the need for a change in spinal imaging and navigation, Erez founded PathKeeper with the desire to use his talents for saving and improving lives – not just smiles.
Erez and Josh’s 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 deformities and other spinal issues requiring surgery, 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 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 occur 20% - 30% of the time. Surgical navigation systems have significantly improved placement accuracy and provide an accuracy on the millimeter level. However, the majority of the systems rely on static and momentary registration to CT and X-ray scans taken during the procedure, and since the surgery is dynamic in nature, they cannot provide the highest level of accuracy. CT and X-ray scans produce ionizing radiation within the operating theater which poses a significant health hazard to both the caregiving staff and patients.
Additional drawbacks of current navigation systems are their price, which prevents their adoption into many operating rooms, as well as their large and bulky form factor which makes them difficult to mobilize and therefore less suitable for smaller operating rooms. Most of them also have a long setup time which increases the length and cost of the surgical procedure.
PathKeeper 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 proprietary 3D camera with state-of-the-art software that continuously tracks the anatomy and provides real-time guidance. As opposed to other navigation systems, 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 tool calibration and 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 and operating rooms. The product has also been designed to be competitively priced, making it an attractive and affordable alternative for smaller hospitals and clinics.