HOLLAND, Mich., Sept. 19, 2017
Encoris, the leading designer and manufacturer of medical models and surgical training devices, today announced the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent for its S2T Surgical SmartTrainer. The S2T is a revolutionary surgical training system that is positioned to become the best, hands-on method for surgeons to learn the many minimally invasive surgical procedures, which is the fastest growing surgical approach world-wide.
Encoris’ S2T system consists of a customizable, life-like human torso containing a c-arm mimic with four high-definition micro-cameras, LED illumination, rechargeable power, and plug-and-play connectivity. Altogether, these features create x-ray-like imaging of intricate detail and display it in real-time, on any USB/HDMI enabled device. Live imaging and web connectivity enable world-wide surgical training and product development through webinars.
This hands-on, tactile training system reduces the amount of time surgical trainees need in cadaver labs, significantly reduces the amount of radiation surgeons are exposed to during training sessions, and greatly reduces training costs for medical device companies, hospitals and medical schools.
“The S2T Surgical SmartTrainer is designed to train 21st century surgeons with 21st century technology. The S2T removes all logistical, financial, and geographic limitations for surgical training and practice, so surgeons can learn, train or teach anywhere, without the negative impact of x-ray radiation or restraints of expensive cadavers,” said Jim TenBrink, inventor and co-founder of Encoris. “This patent allows us to secure our first-to-market advantage and continue building our portfolio of innovative products, while changing the landscape of minimally invasive surgical training.”
What makes the S2T so revolutionary is its ability to mimic x-ray at a 97% accuracy level, using cameras, proprietary algorithms, and software that drives them. Furthermore, the training system is highly modular: customized bone anatomy of different diseases can be swapped out with ease, which is impossible to do with cadavers. The S2T technology can be customized to include any portion of the body and uses replaceable bone and soft tissue structures that look and feel realistic. Spine surgery, cardiac surgery, interventional radiology, and general surgery are just a few areas of medicine that will benefit from this new training technology.
The first prototypes of the S2T Surgical SmartTrainer have been seen by dozens of surgeons and leaders in the medical device manufacturing community, including Eric Major, president and CEO of K2M, a global leader of complex spine and minimally invasive solutions.
“Witnessing the S2T Surgical SmartTrainer technology first-hand, and actually seeing the working prototype in action was certainly exciting,” said Major. “The new, non-cadaveric training model promises to reduce training costs and will help expedite product launches.”
Future editions of the S2T Surgical SmartTrainer are expected to include embedded feed-back sensors, “living” tissue architectures, live data collection, downloadable software upgrades and connectivity to training centers.
Encoris was founded nine years ago by TenBrink and Joel Zylstra to bring next-level innovation to the medical device industry. Already successful with world-wide sales of its medical models, FlexBone products, and standard surgical trainers, the company has worked with Lakeshore Advantage, applied Medical Device Institute (aMDI), Grand Valley State University, and University of Michigan to bring the S2T to market.
“Encoris is a perfect example of an entrepreneurial company creatively serving an industry niche,” said Jennifer Owens, president of Lakeshore Advantage. “Lakeshore Advantage helps companies from startups to grown-ups, and it’s been our sincere pleasure to work with Jim and his vision of Encoris as the company surges forward in growth.”