Over the years, New Jersey orthopedic surgeon Lee Berger became frustrated with the lack of information that patients had on prosthetic devices that had been implanted within their own knees, hips, feet, or other parts of their skeleton.
In order to gather data such as the size, model, age, serial numbers or manufacturers of these implants, either X-rays or extensive paper trail hunts were required. His new product, the Ortho-Tag, is designed to address this problem. All of the vital data regarding an implant could be obtained by placing a probe against the patient’s skin, plus information on the health of the surrounding body tissue would be provided.
The Ortho-Tag system consists of a small radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip, and a handheld receiving probe. The chip would be loaded up with information that future health care providers might need to know, then attached to the prosthesis prior to implantation. Sensors on the chip would also measure pressure on the implant, the chemical balance and temperature of the surrounding tissue, and would indicate if harmful organisms were present.