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UH Orthopaedic Surgeons First in Ohio to Operate with Cleveland-Based ArthroFree™ Surgical Camera


Innovations in Orthopaedics | Winter 2023

This past December, orthopaedic surgeons at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center were the first in Ohio and among the first nationally to operate using the pioneering ArthroFree™ wireless surgical camera system.

James Voos, MD, chair of the UH Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Jacob Calcei, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, recently performed two ACL reconstructions using ArthroFree.

James Voos, MDJames Voos,MD
Jacob Calcei, MD UH OrthopaedicsJacob Calcei, MD

“When we're in the operating room, we have three goals,” says Dr. Voos. “First and foremost is providing the best possible patient care, but other factors we consider are wear and tear on our team and the safety of our operating rooms. ArthroFree is a technology that is good for the patient and good for the surgical team.”

“The image quality is excellent,” adds Dr. Calcei. “With reconstructive surgeries, we are often moving from one spot to another or switching portals. The wireless camera made moving around during the procedure much easier.”

The first-in-class camera system, which pairs a low-heat, high-intensity laser with wireless capabilities, is the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved fully untethered camera for arthroscopy and general endoscopy. A contract between University Hospitals Ventures, the innovation and commercialization arm of University Hospitals, and Lazurite Holdings LLC is advancing the locally developed ArthroFree technology. Company stakeholders are focusing on orthopaedic and sports medicine as their initial target market.

ArthroFree surgical device ArthroFreeTM wireless surgical camera.

In addition to improving ergonomics for the surgeon, the novel device reduces risks of operating room burns or fires that can occur with higher-temperature light sources. Other benefits include reduced staff injury from cord entanglement, greater procedural efficiency and streamlined set-up, tear-down and sterilization requirements.

“During a typical arthroscopic procedure, there are crisscrossing cords that have to be managed throughout the case,” says Dr. Calcei. “With the light and power cords eliminated, it is easier and safer to navigate the surgical site. This is going to change how we do arthroscopy moving forward.”

UH Partners to Test Functionality

Along with fellow University Hospitals orthopaedic surgeons and surgical staff, Drs. Voos and Calcei collaborated with Lazurite on formative human factors studies of ArthroFree during its pre-approval stage. As part of a larger multi-site investigation, team members gained hands-on experience and evaluated the camera’s functionality.

“We’ve conducted efficiency studies that compare ArthroFree to a corded light and power source set-up and found higher satisfaction rates and faster room turnover,” says Dr. Calcei. Their findings1, recently published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Experience & Innovation, found ArthroFree was 45 percent faster to assemble and 23 percent faster to disassemble than current camera systems in simulated surgical conditions.

The ArthroFree Advantage

Comprised of a proprietary camera, receiver and Meridiem™ laser light technology, the ArthroFree system can operate on just four watts, compared to 300 watts required for a conventional surgical camera.

Additional features include:

  • Wireless connectivity that offers HIPAA-compliant, point-to-point encryption for patient data
  • Drop-in compatibility with patient data consoles and surgical monitors
  • A smooth, ergonomic handheld device that offers intuitive functionality
  • A lightweight, rechargeable power source
  • Improved procedural outcomes associated with optimized surgical field visualization and physician range of motion
  • Reduced risk of health care-associated infections (HAIs)
  • Better utilization of health care resources and staffing

Recognition of ArthroFree’s breakthrough technology is growing. The Greater Cleveland Partnership named Lazurite as the Tech Company of the Year (Small) at its 2022 Best of Tech Awards.

“It is rewarding to partner with a Cleveland-based company that recognizes University Hospital’s commitment to driving new technologies forward,” says Dr. Voos. “As an academic medical center, we strive to continually refine and improve the operating room environment for our patients, physicians and surgical staff.”

For more information, contact Dr. Voos at James.Voos@UHhospitals.org or Dr. Calcei at Jacob.Calcei@UHhospitals.org.

1 Williams, James, Jeff Ustin, Jacob Calcei, Kendra Gardiner, James Voos, and Patrick Polito. “Wireless vs. Wired Arthroscopic Cameras: A Comparative OR Simulation Study of Efficiency, Cost Per Case, Setup, and Takedown.” Journal of Orthopaedic Experience & Innovation, December 2022.

Contributing Experts: 
James Voos, MD
Chair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Jack and Mary Herrick Distinguished Chair, Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center 
Charles H. Herndon Professor and Chair
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Head Team Physician, Cleveland Browns
Medical Director, Cleveland Ballet

Jacob Calcei, MD
Orthopaedic Surgeon
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center
Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine