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Carlsbad based Med-tech startup Carlsmed has developed patented, machine learning technology that taps a patient’s X-ray and CT scans, along with other information, to design a digital surgical plan to achieve the best spinal alignment.

Carlsmed, in coordination with the surgeon, then produces personalized, 3-D printed titanium implants based on the plan.

According to the report in the San Diego Union Tribune, the “aprevo,” implants target adults with degenerative curvature of the spine and other deformities that can lead to lower back and leg pain, among other things. These conditions affect about 6 million adults in the U.S. – a potential $9 billion market.

The current success rate for spinal surgeries to correct these ailments is not great, said Mike Cordonnier, chief executive and co-founder of Carlsmed. More than a quarter of patients require additional revision surgery within four years of their first procedure.

Conventional spinal implants come in a variety of shapes, and it is up to surgeons to find the best fit through a trial-and-error process. Because Carlsmed’s implants are designed for every patent individually, the company believes it can achieve better spinal alignment outcomes and avoid additional procedures

“Our philosophy is we are designing the optimal surgical plan – and devices for that surgical plan – so it can be the last spine surgery a patient needs,” said Cordonnier.

A couple of years ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared Carlsmed’s implants for use in certain spine surgeries.

Then in October, Medicare authorized an additional reimbursement – on top of its standard payout – for hospitals using Carlsmed’s implants.

“It is really a program that is designed to incentivize technology that can improve the standard of care and decrease the cost of care over the lifetime of the patient,” said Cordonnier. “That has been a real door opener for us in starting our commercial rollout to be able to give the hospitals an extra economic incentive to adopt this transformative technology.”

The company plans to use the $30 million in new funding to further expand its hospital base. It brings the total raised by the Carlsbad-based company to $42.5 million since it was founded in 2018.