AO Annual Report 2020:

Presenting significant achievements in innovation

The AO Annual Report 2020, now available online, looks at the challenges and achievements of a year out of the ordinary across five separate chapters—education, innovation, research, finance and governance, and corporate social responsibility—and AO Technical Commission (AO TC) and AO Innovation Translation Center (AO ITC) milestones played an important role.

From basic research to product development and clinical validation, innovation is a key AO pillar, advancing its work to promote excellence in patient care and outcomes in trauma and musculoskeletal disorders. At the core of the AO's innovations and approvals process is the AO TC. A key part of developing and bringing innovations to market, the AO TC is central to the AO landscape. In 2020, an extraordinary year due to global travel restrictions limiting on-site collaboration, it continued to play a crucial role in quality control and product development and acted as an essential link between AO clinical divisions, the other institutes, and the AO's global network.

Numerous implants and instruments addressing clinical problems have resulted from the long-standing cooperation between the AO TC and DePuy Synthes. This collaboration has, over the past decade, resulted in more than 200 innovative solutions contributing to the AO’s mission: promoting excellence in patient care and outcomes in trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.

In 2020, the AO TC approved a suite of products that will benefit patient outcomes across all areas in which the AO is active, and you can read about all of them in the AO Annual Report 2020.

A year out of the ordinary, 2020 opened with the launch of the AO ITC with a completely new operating model, creating a streamlined process for prioritization and validation of all sources’ innovative responses to clinic needs and funneling these solutions into surgeons’ hands. The AO ITC creates pathways for ideas to become innovative solutions and better positions the AO to identify and apply digital technology for all its solutions.

Innovation at the AO was further demonstrated by the launch of AO Global Data (AO GD), the world’s most comprehensive musculoskeletal outcomes repository. AO GD offers insights and guidance to help members optimize their practices for patient outcomes management, payer negotiations, marketing, and more.

Moreover, the AO ITC’s Technology Transfer submitted two projects—the small bone external fixator and the biphasic platefor CE marking. Additionally, the AO released a new round of strategy fund resources and approved three new projects in 2020. The strategy fund supports inventors with early-stage ideas to reach proof of concept, focusing on clinical tools and technologies for any element of the entire patient journey in musculoskeletal disorders, as well as educational tools, platforms, or channels for lifelong training of surgeons.

In 2020, the AO ITC maintained its momentum even against the backdrop of COVID-19 by employing digital technology to finalize development of several new projects. Other AO ITC milestones detailed in the AO Annual Report 2020 include the Meet the Experts seminar, the fourth AO TC Trauma Experts Symposium, awards recognizing outstanding achievements in development and innovation, and the Smart Digital Solutions Task Force’s first published white paper.

Read the AO Annual Report 2020—enriched with compelling infographics, images, and videos—today.