Orthocare Innovations – 2012 Fierce 15

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Doug McCormack, CEO of Orthocare Innovations

Based: Oklahoma City
Founded: 2007
Website: OrthocareInnovations.com

The Scoop: Orthocare Innovations is gearing up to launch Magellan, a foot and ankle prosthetic that mirrors natural function and interfaces with patients' smartphones. CEO Doug McCormack says the device is more adaptive than anything else on the market, and he should know: He uses it.

What Makes It Fierce: Prosthetic foot and ankle systems have come a long way in recent years, but one nagging issue remains: If users want to adjust their high-tech limbs, they usually face the low-tech proposition of visiting a clinician, providing subjective feedback and getting their prosthetics adjusted.

"We think that's completely unacceptable," says McCormack. Prosthetics have long been static devices, requiring their users to adapt to them in daily life, but Orthocare's Magellan foot and ankle system takes a vastly different approach, using device-mounted sensors to detect and react to changes in terrain and force, and the device's patients to adjust it on the fly through an iPhone app. Furthermore, Magellan keeps tabs on its own performance, sending diagnostics information to patients' phones.

The result is a paradigm-shifting prosthetic, McCormack says, and the Magellan provides a significant boost in quality of life over other devices. And he should know: Orthocare's CEO is a Magellan user himself.

Throughout the development process for Magellan, Orthocare kept its eyes on patients' bottom lines. While researchers around the world have invented innovative prosthetic solutions ranging from exoskeletons to robotics, those high-dollar techs are available to select patient populations, McCormack says, and Orthocare wanted to ensure that its device would reach as wide a market as possible.

"We feel strongly that better technology and better devices don't necessarily mean more expensive," McCormack says. "Our aim was to develop technologies that remain within the reach of the majority of the patient population."

Because it's an external device, Magellan is exempt from needing traditional FDA approval. Instead, for prosthetics, the big hurdle is securing reimbursement. Medicare has already agreed to cover Magellan, however, and McCormack says Orthocare expects many private insurers to follow suit.

Orthocare has raised $13 million through Boston's Schooner Capital, and the company has pulled in nearly that much through public sources, including a recent $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

What To Look For: Next comes commercialization. Orthocare is launching Magellan at the end of the year, McCormack says, handling the manufacturing in-house at its Oklahoma City headquarters. From there, with reimbursement secured, Orthocare believes Magellan could be the next big blockbuster in the prosthetic world.

-- Damian Garde (email | Twitter)

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