Medical Devices Leader In The Spotlight – Levi Fernandes, Orthopedic Surgeon and The Chief Medical Officer at PeekMed
Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at some length with Dr. Levi Fernandes, Orthopedic Surgeon and The Chief Medical Officer at PeekMed. He kindly and generously gave up some of his very precious time away from innovating at PeekMed to answer some questions for me.
PeekMed operate and continue to expand, in the European and North American markets, and they are relentless on the pace of innovation as they continue to develop the 3D #ArtificialIntelligence (AI) planning and Deep Learning (DL) technologies. The company enables #surgeons to plan the surgery and simulation of different outcomes and implant sizes in a matter of seconds. As a result when the “real” surgery occurs, it is an execution of what was planned.
Here is what Levi had to say ……..
Levi, what led you to take on the role you have today?
As an Orthopedic Surgeon I always try to improve the care I can give to my patients and in 2017 I went to Germany for a fellowship. There I had the chance to witness systematic pre-operative planning of surgeries. When I came back to Portugal I reached out to PeekMed (which was already working on pre-operative planning) to see if they wanted to collaborate to develop specific automated processes and the rest as they say ……………is history ! We are bringing together both my passions - technology and medicine together for the benefit of patients.
What makes you want to leap out of bed on a work day and get on with matters at hand?
I always look forward to my day because there are just so many things that I know I’m going to enjoy. I love speaking with patients and following up after surgeries. I always enjoy surgery and everything that surrounds it, especially case preparing and discussions within the team (with a cup of beautiful Portuguese coffee of course!).
What is the most motivating thing about working at PeekMed?
For me, the most motivating thing about my company is getting good feedback from the doctors that are using the software. I have the chance to meet amazing clinicians whom I respect immensely. I find it humbling and rewarding to hear them tell me they cannot imagine their practice without the software that I and everyone at PeekMed helped to build. That is a real ‘pinch-me’ moment – it is just fantastic.
Why did you choose to approach PeekMed rather than any other company in this area?
I chose this company because it has a strong core and a passion and deep belief for this area/ specialism. We are all very similar – we are passionate, driven and singularly focused on doing the very best for patients and surgeons. Everyone here works hard to move things forward very fast. We bounce off each other, we are extremely honest and open-minded with each other, and all get on very well. If something might not initially sound like a workable idea we will strip it back and explore it , and you know what ? Sometimes those can be the best ideas. We give each other air time, the space to be creative, the space to ‘play’ but whilst being ‘on focus’. That is critical for innovation.
Collaboration can drive innovation. Is there an opportunity in the medtech sector to be more innovative in offering patients and surgeons a more joined up solution?
Pre-operative planning is the basics of a surgery. You have to be prepared for a surgery, you have that responsibility to your patient. And no surgeon or surgery is better than its own planning. So for me, the beauty of our software is very simple.
We are able to offer a solution for pre-operative planning that can have a huge impact in the clinical practice, especially because it makes the process much faster. Also, it is very different from robotics or VR and is more widely used as it is much more accessible, so if you are a patient in Portugal (where there are no robots still) you can benefit from this. Surgeries evolve and the software will evolve together with the constant feedback from surgeons. There is a huge opportunity for Education with pre-operative planning, because you think about what you are doing and you discuss the best solutions. VR will be good for “manual practice” but for pre-operative planning you have to use your head.
What will be different for your market in the future, what will it look like in the year 2032 for example?
I think Orthopedics works in cycles. Maybe Robots will be found to be useless - a waste of time and money who knows ? I know that is very controversial to say. The opposite may also be the case. I think we will be focusing on a value-based medicine where we follow our patients more closely to see what improvements we need to make.
Finally, what song would get you jigging on the dance floor ?
The place where I danced the most in my life was in Rio de Janeiro, so I like Samba. Also House Music.
Thank you Levi Fernandes and thanks to PeekMed. I’d like to say Levi samba’d out of the meeting, but I would be lying – I couldn’t bribe him enough to do a little jig for me.