TWO brothers who grew up in Fiji have been awarded a US patent for the first of a long list of devices designed to revolutionise surgery the world over.
The brothers, Harutaro and Marty Trabish, were educated at the Lautoka Chinese School and furthered their education at Natabua High School before migrating to the US.
Speaking to The Fiji Times, one of the brothers, Marty Trabish said the initial patent — awarded last month — was for a femoral head surgical resurfacing aid — designed to substitute hip replacement surgeries.
However, he explained the generalised concept of the technology was the most important aspect.
"Basically if you go into surgeries like hip replacements or knee replacements nowadays you will be using alignment devices," Mr Trabish said. These are much like a carpenters tool kit designed to cut out the bone and replace it at the joint and sometimes this is inaccurate.
"What we are doing is using CT scans to make a three dimensional model of the patients bone to create customised patient specific instruments designed specifically for a patient. So what comes out is a little bit of plastic that is made specifically to be implanted and to aid the patients joints."
"This not only reduces surgery time and cost but it allows the surgery to be extremely more accurate," he added.
Marty Trabish is the head of Research and Development at the LCT Robotic Joint Research Centre in South Korea.
His brother Harutaro Trabish works as a computer software engineer in California and developed the computer software for the patented product. Mr Marty Trabish said the technology was already in use in Asia and was expected to be in the US by the first quarter of next year.
He added the technology could be applied in a number of other surgeries to not only save more lives, but improve health care and reduce costs.
"The technology can be applied to surgeries concerning the spine, brain and basically the joints of the body, it can also be used in the treatment of bone tumors," he said. He said growing up in Fiji had been an experience the brothers had cherished and they were looking for ways to give back what they had gained from Fiji.
"My brother and I lived in Fiji for the first 18 years of our lives and I would just like to say that the education system is very good. I think we need to continue to work and improve on that education system," he added.