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AO Innovation Translation Center (AO ITC)

As the AO’s innovation hub, the AO ITC streamlines and drives innovation projects, with activities ranging from development of clinical solutions with industrial partners, innovation gathering, and proof-of-concept studies with innovators to strategic investments in intellectual property (IP), technologies, or companies, and evidence creation through clinical research. Explore excellence in innovation: Watch our Meet the Experts video series.

AO Technical Commission marks 60th anniversary

At the heart of the AO ITC is the AO TC, which in 2021 marked its 60th anniversary. Established by the AO founders in 1961 and known for years as the “AO Technische Kommission” (AOTK), the body was responsible for the development and approval of surgical techniques, implants, and instruments. The AO ITC streamlines and drives innovation projects ranging from the development of clinical solutions and innovation gathering to strategic investments in IP and evidence creation through clinical research. Learn more about the AO TC’s history in the video here.

AO TC welcomes new chairperson

Maarten Spruit, elected AO TC chairperson in June 2021, perceives several opportunities to further strengthen the AO TC’s innovative output and aims to promote the AO TC as a global expert think tank that will drive disruptive innovation. He took over AO TC leadership during a challenging time as travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic forced activities typically carried out on-site to be conducted differently.

AO Global Data expansion continues

The AO’s innovative nature was further evidenced by the continued expansion of AO Global Data, the world’s most comprehensive musculoskeletal outcomes repository. In June 2021, spine-specific protocols were introduced. Covering deformity, degenerative disease, trauma, and tumor, the protocols endorsed by the new AO Spine Knowledge Forums provide both highly specialized and more general access to comply with data collection standards and precisely track an array of pertinent spine conditions. The first veterinary module was developed, and work began on modules for pediatric long bone fractures and reconstructive surgery. Additionally, AO Global Data conducted a successful webinar addressing the value of patient data for surgeons, health care delivery teams, and patients.

AI@AO: advancing AI to improve patient care

In collaboration with the University of Turin and with AO ITC Strategy Fund resources, the AO in 2021 undertook the AI@AO pilot project, leveraging its unique position as a global community of expert surgeons to advance the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to classify fractures. The aim of the project is to create a data set of x-ray fracture images with high-quality annotations to improve training of AI algorithms.