/12/project case

Surgical Tool

Automated Electromechanical Assistance in the Surgical Theatre
Startup (Medical Devices)
Calgary, Canada
  • Medical

Automating Orthopaedic Surgery

Tangent was contracted to develop a highly integrated and customized automated electromechanical surgical assistance tool aimed at serving the orthopaedic surgery market. The scope of the project involved the mechanical design of the overall form and the automated mechanical stages inside the tool. The electrical scope involved the design of a set of custom printed circuit boards for motor driving and sensing. An embedded control system was also designed as well as specialized firmware to detect and act on sensor inputs in a fraction of a millisecond.

Tangent started the project with an intensive technical review to determine the most promising path forward with respect to the Intellectual Property landscape in the field of the invention. Once a technical plan was established, Tangent’s team began formulating an initial concept design as well as a regulatory strategy. The initial concept design was used to develop an initial algorithm, and deficiencies in the platform were noted and carried into a second round of design. During the second round of design, a real time sensor detect and control algorithm was designed and tested with good results. The design was then transitioned into manufacturing, with a final round of design and the preparation of a final regulatory package. The manufacturable design was then transferred to the client for commercialization.

Tangent acted in this project as the Client’s own internal development team and handled all aspects of product creation. Once the client had a working design in hand, Tangent’s role converted to a support role and Tangent was available on an as-needed basis throughout the transition into market. Ultimately the client was looking at developing the technology for the purpose of resale. In this case, hiring and retaining an internal development team was not economically feasible. By working with Tangent, the client was able to get a turn-key sophisticated surgical tool designed to medical device standards (ISO 13485 compliant QMS) in a fraction of the time an internal development team would have taken.