Seamus Tredinnick describes OssAbility as providing implants, surgical instruments and the thinking beyond them. But, he’s not talking about people; he’s talking about dogs.

“We began in 2013, treating canine cranial cruciate ligament disease using 3D-printed titanium implants, with the ‘what can we do?’ approach. We focused on fewer complications, faster convalescence and better patient outcomes,” says Seamus.

Development in New Zealand has been a huge benefit, keeping the company close to its customers, making it easier to understand the commercial landscape and partner successfully with corporate veterinary clients on education. Over time, as OssAbility built that client base, they saw that implants were only a very small part of the solution and the real potential was “how do we do it?”.

“We began to focus more on how the veterinary surgeon approaches the procedure, the systemisation of surgery, how we can augment their ability through engineering technology rather than the surgical base.”

This morphed into an approach based around surgical intelligence, decision support, augmentation of surgical skills and patient assessment where they could say, “Well, a patient like yours will get well in this way.”

“Now, our major focus is meeting what the market is crying out for – streamlining a lot of the manual aspects of surgery using technology such as using cloud-based platforms, interpretation through machine learning and hands-on workshops, all contributing to making surgery more accurate and more cost-effective.”

Seamus says at the same time they’ve become aware of how much people spend on dogs.

“The pet market is huge, there is so much money flowing through it. Surgery for anterior cruciate ligament for the family dog can run from $3000 to $6000 and the owner could face that twice.

“For the hunter who’s paid $5000 for a good pig dog, the value lies in the dog’s productivity, so it needs to be back to work as quickly as possible.”

Seamus says OssAbility’s point of difference is their ability to improve surgical systems and outcomes by focusing on the “why?” and how they can develop products that prevent a recurrence.

OssAbility is in the market in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the UK, with the US to come by the end of 2019.

“Two to five years from now, we’d like to have a global focus with communities of customers and focus on what we’ve done in New Zealand,” says Seamus.

By Prue Scott