Biotronic News

  • Biotronic NeuroNetwork announces the acquisition of NuWave Monitoring, LLC in Homewood, Illinois.

    Biotronic NeuroNetwork announces the acquisition of NuWave Monitoring, LLC in Homewood, Illinois.  NuWave Monitoring is an intraoperative neuromonitoring company servicing patients, surgeons, and health care facilities in Illinois and Indiana.  NuWave employs highly trained and certified technologists and is dedicated to the highest levels of customer service.

    NuWave technologists will add to Biotronic’s strong presence in Chicago.  The acquisition will combine Biotronic’s industry-leading infrastructure including training, clinical management, and quality assurance program with NuWave’s presence in Chicago and northwestern Indiana.

    “Biotronic and NuWave are a natural fit for each other” said William J. Gecsey, CEO of Biotronic NeuroNetwork, “both organizations share a commitment to quality and service.  Biotronic expands its infrastructure and reach from Chicago through northwestern Indiana.”

    The NuWave Monitoring team will continue working with their surgeons and hospitals and will comply with Biotronic’s Joint Commission accredited quality assurance program.

     

    Media Contact:

    Todd Homan

    toddhoman@biotronic.com

     

  • Biotronic Acquires Neurowave Monitoring

    Biotronic NeuroNetwork announces the acquisition of Neurowave Monitoring in Tustin, CA.  The combination of Biotronic and Neurowave results in a strong team of technologists with advanced competencies covering southern California.  Neurowave has been providing IOM services in Los Angeles and Orange Counties since 1995 and has earned the respect and trust of many hospitals and surgeons.  Biotronic has provided IOM services in many parts of the country since 1978 and includes research and training infrastructure as well as accreditation by The Joint Commission.

    “We are very proud to combine forces with Neurowave” said William J. Gecsey, President and CEO of Biotronic NeuroNetwork.  “Paul and his team have a reputation for quality and service.  Our combined teams will provide a high standard of care throughout the region.”

    “Biotronic is an ideal partner for Neurowave” said Paul Sowa, President of Neurowave.  “Their infrastructure and commitment to patients will help the combined entity grow in southern California.”

    Biotronic is a patient-centric healthcare organization that provides intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring services to surgeons and healthcare facilities across the country.  At Biotronic, we place patients first through our commitment to quality, service, and community. 

  • Biotronic Chat Stat: CNIM Results Are In!

    Biotronic NeuroNetwork is pleased to announce that 100% of its eligible technologists have successfully passed their Certification in Neurophysiological Intraoperative Monitoring (CNIM) for the March 2015 administered exam.  We welcome these 8 newly certified technologists to Biotronic’s team of over 190 CNIM recipients and 9 Diplomates of American Board of Neurophysiological Monitoring (DABNM).

    Biotronic’s internally developed education and training program is an intensive competency based process.  Our commitment to quality is proven through this world-class education, and our proprietary Quality Assurance Program.  Biotronic technologists also have the added benefit of ongoing training in cutting edge technical and clinical advancements, as well as company-wide access to a current and extensive research database.

    Biotronic NeuroNetwork Training Programs FAQs

    • BNN’s 10 year first time CNIM certification success rate is 97%. The National average is 56%
    • Between 1996 and 2014, 14.4% of all CNIM recipients achieved certification through Biotronic.
    • In 2013, Biotronic represented 30% of the first time Path II candidates that successfully passed the CNIM.

     

    “We are very proud of our technologist and our training department. They have demonstrated their commitment to keeping patients first.”-Arvydas Tamkus, MD, PhD VP of Risk Management, Clinical Research & Quality Assurance

    Biotronic is a patient-centric healthcare organization that provides intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring services to surgeons and healthcare facilities across the country. At Biotronic we place patients first through our commitment to quality, service, and community.

    If you would like to receive future news updates from Biotronic, click bellow to join our mailing list today!

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  • Kathleen Howard with F.O.C.O.S.

    Recently I traveled to Accra, Ghana to volunteer with FOCOS to help correct severe scoliosis deformities. As cliché as it may sound, this trip honestly changed my life forever and I will always be grateful for this opportunity provided to me by Biotronic.

    Dr. Rick Hodes is an American physician who now lives in Ethiopia and refers the majority of the patients to FOCOS. You can see the actual patient’s pictures and curves we did during my two weeks on his website’s homepage: rickhodes.org

    **Rick Hodes also has an absolutely amazing story of volunteering in Ethiopia as a U.S. doctor and deciding to never come back. He ended up living in Ethiopia for 26 years, adopting 12 children, and houses nearly 50-60 kids. He is a published author and was also featured on a documentary on HBO.  

    FOCOS (Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine) is an organization created by Dr. Boachie. Dr. Boachie was born and raised in Ghana and after attending U.S. medical school and becoming a world renowned scoliosis surgeon in New York, he built a hospital in Ghana. Children and adults from all around the world travel to this hospital to have scoliosis corrective surgery. The facilities and healthcare at FOCOS are at American standards and are being ran/trained by some of the absolute best healthcare professionals. Surgeons from around the world volunteer for a week at a time in efforts to complete the most cases at the highest efficiency. Needless to say, it was an absolute once in a lifetime experience to work with these insanely talented yet generous people day in and day out. We ended up doing 30 cases in just 10 OR days with changes on roughly 80% of the cases. Changes varied in causes from retraction to distraction to osteotomies to hypotension or a combination of two. One case was a young boy from Sierra Leone who had over a 200 degree curve.

    I also had a wonderful opportunity to go to Cape Coast which is a local fishing town but also has a famous slave castle, a suspension bridge through the jungle, and an opportunity to feed and pet wild crocodiles. I believe that anyone that has been to Ghana can agree the culture there is completely life changing. To my biggest surprise, everyone hugs or shakes your hand every single morning. No matter if you worked with them 14 hours the day before, you were always greeted with a huge smile and a loud “how are you!?” It was so refreshing that surgeons, patients, even strangers greeted and treated each other with such love and respect. The people of Ghana are full of love, respect, and kindness. I would recommend this trip to anyone that is interested as it will change you in ways words cannot describe.

  • Laura Muncie in Colombia

    My involvement with the Orthopedic Spine Trip to Colombia has been an incredibly rewarding experience and has enriched my life in countless ways. I have accompanied Dr. Mardjetko, Dr. Rinella, and Dr. Geck on 5 outreach trips and am eager to continue my involvement. It has been my great pleasure to provide the intraoperative spinal cord monitoring for the complex orthopedic procedures that are performed on this trip. I would like to share some of my experiences and provide a brief snapshot of the outreach program for potential volunteers.

    I first learned about the Mission Trip to Colombia from one of my colleagues at Biotronic. Upon his return, he shared photos with me that were taken of the children they has assisted at clinic, the surgical team reviewing X-rays at the airport, the modern operating rooms with windows at the Valle del Lili Hospital and the final day of relaxation at Los Nubes, in the Andes mountains.

    This year, the spine team from the United States included: Dr. Rinella-Chicago, IL, Dr. Geck-Austin, TX, Curtis Jackson-Medtronic, Ethan Lauer-NeuroTech, Laura Muncie-Biotronic, and the youngest member of the team to-date, Cristina Rinella.

    The first day begins with breakfast in the cafeteria, which is open to the lush tropical landscape of Cali. The coffee is of course delicious. Then it is off to clinic, where it is a pleasure to work with the members of the Casa de Colombia staff. They are very organized and keep a steady stream of patients coming in throughout the day. When the children arrive with their families, they are usually wearing big smiles and are not afraid to give out hugs. It is apparent that a strong family bond is very important in their culture and the positive and fun loving nature of the children is truly heartwarming.

    One learns so much from the watching the surgeons interact with the children and their families. Dr. Rinella, Dr. Geck, Dr. Uribe and Dr. Gonzalez are truly passionate about medicine and helping others. They take every opportunity to teach those around them and keep the entire group involved, both inside and outside of the operating room. It has been nice to discover what they look for on the x-rays, and MRIs, discuss and ask questions about the patient’s diagnosis and syndromes, enter in relevant information into the database, take photos of the children and make note of the surgical or follow up plans for each patient.

    The OR staff, including the anesthesiologists, nurses, and of course our host surgeons are very welcoming at the Valle del Lili. We always feel at home while working in the OR, and the high level of patient care provided by the entire team makes these complex spinal procedures possible. The opportunity to introduce spinal cord monitoring to another country, where the technology is not routinely used, has been very gratifying. To be an integral part of the team of healthcare professionals involved in these surgeries, and to see first hand how this feedback can assist in positive patient outcomes, is to see the goal of all of my years of training and experience realized. It’s an indescribable feeling, to observe patients, who underwent procedures that were very risky, come walking or running into clinic 6 months later and state that they now play soccer and ride their bikes regularly.

    The opportunity to be able to scrub in and participate in a surgery was a definite highlight for me. It was great to see the anatomy up close, assist with the suction, and even help to remove and place instrumentation. Every trip I learn something new from each member of the spine team; their ability to teach, leadership, excellent technique and patience inspire me to strive to be a better mentor within my own field.

    Being able to accompany the surgeons on rounds was also a fun experience for me. I will never forget visiting one patient in the intensive care who had undergone a Cervical Decompression and Fusion surgery 1 day prior. She was in a halo and when asked if she was in any pain stated, “No. When can I go back to school?” Witnessing the personal strength of each individual child is an incredibly rewarding experience. Despite their young age, they appear to already know what it truly important in life and for most of us this takes a lifetime to recognize.

    Typically one evening is reserved for presentations in the library of the hospital with the remainder of the evenings spent dining at local restaurants or at the mall across the street from the hospital. The accommodations are very nice. Our rooms are dorm style, each having their own bathroom. One room even has a refrigerator and enough wall space to project movies on at night. Our trip always ends with dinner at Magarita and Caco’s home in Cali. The company, conversation, and spectacular views of the city at night are always a treat. If you’re lucky, the group will end up at a local club for some salsa dancing. Thank you to Juan, Mario, Margarita and Caco for being such gracious hosts! Hope to see you in 6 months!

  • Lindsay Barrett and Mundana Rashidy in Ghana

    I was lucky enough to receive the opportunity to go to Accra, Ghana in November with FOCOS. This was a special trip and has made me grow as a clinician as well as a person. I was there for 2 weeks, the first week was joint week and the second was spine week.

    Upon arrival everyone immediately becomes family. You live in the same house, eat all your meals together, travel to and from work together and spend all day at the hospital together. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I met many amazing people from all different backgrounds and walks of life that made up the team.

    During the first week it was pretty laid back. Just one spine case per day and another room that did two or three total joints. On average we were home around eight o’clock every evening. Things were challenging but low key. The second week was a huge eye opener. We had 3 rooms of spine with sometimes multiple cases in each room. Most days we didn’t get back to the guest house until midnight and then still had to eat dinner and discuss cases for the following day. We survived on 4-5 hrs of sleep a night. Thankfully Mundana joined me to help cover all the cases. Still with her help I monitored in 2 rooms at the same time. Not ideal but in Ghana you optimize your resources and provide the best care you can. I busted out the old EP16 and Armada computer. it was a little rough but just like riding a bike; I was fine.

    The patients were amazing! They brought 7 children from Ethiopia and 8 children from Sierra Leone. Each group came with 3 caregivers to help care for them after surgery. They live in a hostel on the property of the Korle-Bu Hospital for 2 months. These children all come from the poorest backgrounds any of us have ever witnessed in person. Many of them have no parents and live in orphanages. With the help of FOCOS these children were granted a new beginning. They are so happy for their surgery. The little children from Ethiopia were jealous that the kids from Sierra Leone got to have surgery before them. They would wait patiently in the halls of the OR for their surgery sometimes just to find out after 8 hrs of waiting they were going to have to wait until the next day for their surgery. They were always very well behaved and waited patiently for their turn.

    The severity of spinal deformities seen in Ghana are very rarely seen here in the United States. They have well of 100 degree curves that are rotated and twisted. Out of the 19 cases that I monitored, 50% of them had changes,luckily one 1 patient woke up with a deficit.

    Their hospital is very primitive. The hallways and patient rooms are not air-conditioned and have windows that are open to the outside. FOCOS brings in all of their own supplies and instruments. The patients pay only what they can afford for their surgery which for most of them is nothing. Everything is through donation including the instruments and implants. There are times that the optimal screw lengths weren’t available. The surgeons didn’t mind, they made do with what they had available and moved on smoothly.

    We spent Thanksgiving there which was very special and will never be forgotten. That day we got done earlier than usual so we had very special Thanksgiving meal prepared for us. We all realized that we have many things to be thankful for and the things we take for granted.

    At the close of the week I was a little sad for it to be over but a little anxious to be headed home. I learned a lot in Ghana and had the opportunity to do many things that we don’t get to do here. I am grateful for this opportunity and urge anyone that has a desire to go, please do! Your life will never be the same.

  • Alexandra Marchese Represents BNN in a New Joint Undertaking with SRS in Bulgaria

    My recent monitoring adventure began when I received an inquiry as to whether or not I would like to accompany Drs. Mardjetko and Sanchez as a part of the Scoliosis Research Society’s, SRS, mission to Bulgaria. I was honored to be asked and immediately replied that I would accept this amazing offer. Within the next few days, I gathered GPO supplies from Dana and packed my bags for what would turn out to be one of the most rewarding, marvelous experiences of my life.

    This was the first time this mission would occur in Bulgaria. I learned about similar missions in Columbia, Barbados and Ghana from other colleagues and was very willing to learn from the advice they had about these trips. Seeing photos from these trips, as well as the Discovery Channel’s FOCOS special, led to an increased desire to participate and help these children.

    Ten days later, I met Dr. Mardjetko, from Advocate Lutheran General and Chicago Shriner’s Hospital, at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. We had a pleasant flight to Rome, Italy. From Rome, we departed to Bulgaria. Bulgaria is an 8 hour time difference from Chicago, and approximately an eleven hour flight from Chicago, so this was quite the plane ride! After our final arrival in Sofia, Bulgaria, we were greeted by Dr. Stefan Georgiev, the Medical Director of Surgical Recovery Services from Osteotech and Dr. Roman Hitchev, the President and CEO of Osteotech. From the airport, we went to our hotel in Sofia, where we rested.

    The first day of the mission led us to the orthopedic and traumatology section of Tokuda hospital where we met Dr. Vasko Yablanski, a Bulgarian orthopedic surgeon. Drs. Mardjetko and Yablanski held clinic where we met three wonderful children and their families. Each child’s history was collected and a physical examination was completed. X-Rays and MRIs were also examined and each curve was measured. It was really interesting to learn what happens before a patient is considered for surgery. Dr. Mardjetko explained everything to both the families, and to me, and why he was asking the questions he was asking. It was wonderful to see the positive, interactive relationship that Dr. Mardjetko had with each child. Each family was very grateful to have an experienced team that would be taking care of their children and their complex deformities. Being part of this team was a very gratifying feeling.

    On the second day, we met with the same children, as well as one more. Dr. Sanchez joined us from Madrid, Spain. Both surgeons examined the hardware for the surgeries and began planning out the surgeries. 3 children were initially selected for surgery on the next two days. I also met with a neurologist and explained spinal cord monitoring to her. She was familiar with the concept of monitoring which she had observed in Japan, however, currently in Bulgaria, she explained that neuromonitoring is not performed in an intraoperative setting. I explained the different kinds of cases that we do monitoring for and showed her examples of cases in which there were changes. I explained that changes may arise from technical, physiological, surgical and/or positional causes. After an intervention, in these cases, responses returned. She acknowledged that this was a very helpful tool in the OR, however at this time; this would not be possible for several reasons, in Bulgaria. The neurologist stated that they currently perform clinical EEG and EMG and that she had recently performed 2 trials of VEPs, although they were very difficult to obtain. She also showed me their setup that they use. She stated she would be interested in observing me in the OR but was unable to attend.

    On the third day, the first operation was performed on a 15 year old female with chromosome 8q syndrome and neuromuscular scoliosis with progressive collapsing kyphoscoliosis and 80 degree scoliosis, and 80 degree kyphosis. My preliminary discussion with anesthesia was very interesting. This is when I learned that shaking your head vertically means no and side-to-side means yes. So, when I asked if any neuromuscular block had been administered, the answer was really yes, but I thought no! They also did not understand the concept of a MAC value and preferred to assess the patient’s depth by BIS monitoring alone and stated that BIS monitoring is considered 21st century technology. The chief of anesthesia, Dr. Georgi Simeonov, was very interested in monitoring and how it can be very helpful to everyone participating in the case. I was able to provide him with literature about the types of monitoring we perform as well as the anesthetic requirements for these types of monitoring. My training at Biotronic prepared me to answer all of their questions in detail and I felt like I provided them with helpful information. I thoroughly enjoy teaching so being able to explain these concepts as well as having a welcome recipient who was willing to learn, was very rewarding. It was quite an awesome feeling to realize that I was the first one to ever perform intraoperative monitoring in the country of Bulgaria! I am very hopeful to continue with the Biotronic tradition of academic excellence and philanthropy and provide these physicians with the fundamentals they will need to continue with reliable intraoperative monitoring in the future. I am very grateful for the education I received at Biotronic so that I could use it to help in these areas where monitoring is not protocol. Screw testing was also performed. Overall the staff was amazed to see the immediate data that monitoring was able to provide. The surgery concluded without any complications, including monitoring, and the patient woke up without any deficits. It was determined that the second procedure would have to wait until another day.

    On the fourth day, the second and final operation was performed on a 10 year old female with congenital hemivertebra T9 and 68 degree progressive right thoracic curve. This procedure went quite well however some positional changes occurred in sensory signals as well as a possible physiologic/anesthetic change in LE TcMEPs. This was an excellent opportunity for the Bulgarian staff to realize the importance of monitoring and how there are several factors that affect the patient’s outcome. Thankfully, the patient woke up without deficits.

    After this surgery was complete, I changed into my street clothes to join the surgeons for a press conference. As I left the changing room, I saw the father of the girl that just had surgery. As soon as the father saw me, he burst into tears and hugged me. This was one of the most positively overwhelming, extraordinary; words cannot describe how I felt moments of my life. This father was so grateful for my contribution to his daughter’s well-being; he could no longer express it with words. That hug transferred raw human emotion and it will be remembered forever. I walked in awe and in sheer bliss to the press conference with Dr. Stefan Georgiev and the parents of that child.

    The press conference was also a very unique experience. Drs Mardjetko, Sanchez, Yablanski, and I joined Dr. Roman Hitchev and Dr. Stefan Georgiev as well a Bulgarian interpreter. The local press was invited as well as the former prime minister of Bulgaria who was now a hospital administrator. The SRS mission was explained, as were the surgeries that were performed and the neuromonitoring that was provided. There was much excitement about the level of care that was provided for these children for their complex spinal deformities. At this point I also learned more about the Bulgarian health care system, and local medical politics. Bulgaria has a socialized health care program in which the government provides support. Private hospitals also exist however; patients need to pay for their own care. In addition, surgeons are not trained for these complex cases. Simple scoliosis corrections are performed in which locally produced Harrington Rods are placed. Neuromonitoring simply does not exist for lack of funding and education/knowledge. At the end of the press conference, the mother of the first child that was operated on greeted me in the same fashion as the father of the second child. After receiving these powerful emotions, I understood the need for help in these countries, for these families and most importantly for these children. I was honored that I was able to be a part of this experience.

    That evening, before our long journey home, we all went to a local, Bulgarian restaurant, Chevermeto, where we sampled traditional local cuisine and were pleasantly surprised by both dancing and singing entertainment. The entertainment represented different regions of Bulgaria and reminded me of Greek, Russian and Turkish influences. The food was delicious and so fresh! They are known for their goat cheeses and locally grown wine.

    As I reflected on our trip home, I was very grateful for the things I would be returning home to. I was also very grateful for the things I had left behind. This was by far, one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I can only hope to contribute more. I am grateful to Biotronic for allowing me this wonderful opportunity to help these children and provide them with excellent monitoring and hopefully help establish a monitoring program in Bulgaria. I look forward to future missions with SRS.

  • Ohio surgeons hope chip in man’s brain lets him control paralyzed hand with thoughts

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    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Chad Bouton snapped awake at 5 a.m. He skipped coffee, threw some Clif Bars and water in a bag, and left his wife and children and robot at home. He ordered three Sausage McMuffins from a drive-up window. He steered toward the hospital. He entered the operating room at 6:15 a.m.

    Bouton is a research engineer, not a doctor, and he worked with an engineer’s precision. By 7 a.m., he and his team had set everything up in the operating room and tested it — the computer with the secret algorithm, the uplink cable, the Wand. They were ready to go, right on time. As they had been told to expect, the patient was late. So they tested the equipment again.

  • 24 patients depart for spine surgery in Ghana

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    Early Wednesday morning, we met 24 patients in the airport, and successfully got them onto their flight to Accra, accompanied by our nurse. We also sent 20 kilos of dried Ethiopian injera to eat, as well as several hundred packets of PlumpyNut, a peanut-based nutritional supplement. Luckily, there’s a PlumpyNut factory here in Ethiopia.[…]Read Full Article

  • Biotronic NeuroNetwork Acquires Neurophysiology Associates

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    Biotronic NeuroNetwork (“Biotronic”), a Great Point Partners I, L.P. (“GPP”) portfolio company and the nation’s leading intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (“IONM”) company, today announced that it has acquired Neurophysiology Associates, LLC (“NPA”), a premier regional IONM provider based in Athens, GA.

    Greg W. Sasso, Chief Executive Officer of Biotronic NeuroNetwork commented, “We welcome all of Neurophysiology Associates’ team members and customers to the Biotronic team. This partnership will serve to strengthen Biotronic’s leadership position in the IONM market segment and clearly expands our national service footprint by providing an excellent entry in the attractive markets of South Carolina and Georgia. We employ over 200 Neurophysiologists servicing over 425 hospital customers and over 1,100 surgeon customers in 32 States. Additionally, the Biotronic team will monitor over 40,000 surgical cases during 2014.”

    Biotronic continues to have double-digit organic procedure growth, and is now the market share leader in IONM services. The high organic growth, acquisitions, and successful integrations, clearly demonstrate the Company’s ability to execute on its strategic plan. The acquisition will allow Biotronic to expand its client base to the southeast, as well as add additional skilled technicians to its staff.

    IONM utilizes advanced electrophysiological modalities to monitor and record the functional integrity of critical neural structures (brain, nerves, and spinal cord) and organs in real-time during surgeries such as neurological, spinal, vascular, cardiothoracic, orthopedic and other complex procedures where these structures potentially could be at risk.

    About Biotronic
    Founded in 1978, Biotronic NeuroNetwork is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan and currently employs over 250 administrative, support and clinical staff, including over 200 technicians throughout the country. Biotronic is the largest independent provider of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring in the world. http://www.biotronic.com

    About Great Point Partners
    Great Point Partners (“GPP”), founded in 2003 and based in Greenwich, CT, is a leading health care investment firm with approximately $700 million of equity capital under management and 23 professionals. GPP is currently making new private equity investments from GPP II, a $215 million fund. Great Point manages capital in private (GPP I, $156 million and GPP II) and public equity (BMVF, approximately $325 million) funds. Great Point Partners has provided growth equity, growth recapitalization, and management buyout financing to more than 100 health care companies. Both the private and public funds invest across all sectors of the health care industry including biologics and pharmaceutical infrastructure, devices and diagnostics, health care services, hospital outsourcing, information technology, specialty pharmaceuticals, and workers compensation. The firm pursues a proactive and proprietary approach to sourcing investments. Reach Great Point at 203-971-3300. http://www.gppfunds.com

    This document is intended solely to provide information regarding Great Point Partners’ potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies.

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