When Adelaide-based orthopaedics company, Austofix, wanted to fast track their invention to market, they partnered with the Medical Device Partnering Program to make it a reality.

The Ezy-Aim Electronic Distal Targeting System, was developed to provide surgeons with ‘an extra pair of eyes’ when inserting nails and screws to repair broken bones.

The technology allows surgeons to accurately judge the location of the implant inside the bone, removing the need for multiple X-rays when fixing bone fractures.

The MDPP provided Austofix with a new prototype device, collaborating with researchers and end-users to ensure the end result addressed a clear market need.

Austofix General Manager, Chris Henry, says the initial prototype developed with MDPP exceeded design specifications, “The MDPP’s professional expertise in coordinating and facilitating the development of medical devices provided the impetus for this product to reach the commercialisation stage.”

Through utilising 3D printing during the design and manufacturing processes, Austofix was able to realise a complex design without the costs associated with traditional manufacturing.

On entering the market, Ezy-Aim received strong endorsement from surgeons – with key feedback around the simple and easy to use design in comparison to products from some of the world’s largest surgical device companies.

MDPP’s support during the design phase of Ezy-Aim allowed Austofix to enhance their range of orthopaedic medical devices to improve the accuracy of surgery and ultimately improve patient safety.

After establishing a strong partnership with the MDPP, Austofix have continued collaborations with Flinders University through ongoing consultation and contract work.

In 2017, Austofix returned to the MDPP for the development and functioning prototype of their second-generation product for the EzyAim system. This time to design and build a wireless system and mobile application to enable pre-calibration of the device and control from a smart device.

As well as a sophisticated prototype, this second project provided in depth market research that will help Austofix determine the initial markets it will target.

Austofix are now selling the Ezy-Aim device in 13 countries including Ecuador, Vietnam, China, Iran, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, France, Greece, Philippines, Chile and Turkey.