For a little more than a year ago, Conalmedicas began to perform the tests to take the step towards the manufacture of custom-made prostheses. Today, its main market niches are orthopedic surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons, neurosurgeons, otorhinolaryngologists, thoracic surgeons. and of cardio surgery.
For 15 years the company has been dedicated to the commercialization of osteosynthesis products such as plates, nails, screws, all that material that is used for a replacement when a person suffers a traffic accident and has fractured their bony part.
Last year they started working with the Chamber of Commerce of Cali, they managed to form an innovation team and they took out a project they called ‘Fitos’, fit means fixing and os, bone; The idea of this line of business is the tailor-made design part of cranial implants and maxillofacial surgery plans.
But the company not only participated in the ‘Systems of Business Innovation’ program of the Chamber of Commerce of Cali, Colciencias and IXL Center, but also achieved the ‘Boston Experience’ award that allowed them to receive training and learn about the innovation ecosystem of Boston .
The biomedical engineer Valeria Marín, who works at Colmédicas, explains that currently there is digital manufacturing technology that has opened a panorama to this class of fabrications, so, through 3D printing and K design (computer design) have managed to make the design of the prosthesis tailored.
“What do we need as input? The tomography of the patient, his skull that needs a piece, that lid that is on the outside; through tomography I can visualize it and it is like making a plane through the computer, I can design the prosthesis. I am the person in charge of the design of the prosthesis, it is printed in 3D and then, by casting processes, it is possible to make the final product in a biomaterial “, explains the biomedical engineer.
They obtained the patent through the REDDI (Center for Regional Innovation).
“We linked to REDDI for an osteosynthesis product, we made last year make new purchase orders, when we finished the project, we had around 190 million pesos, and we were winners of the prize with the Chamber of 23 million pesos to promote the project and we had the experience in Boston, we went to Harvard, we managed to travel and get to know the ecosystem of innovation, look at new business models and implement it to boost the brand and the manufacturing processes, “adds the biomedical.
Each prosthesis is personalized; they work a surgical instrumentadora, the biochemical engineer and another person who is in charge of the marketing.
A skull prosthesis works in two weeks, but if they must resort to a material like titanium, much stronger, it takes 20 working days.