Ortho Baltic was founded in 2001. Starting its business as a manufacturer of individual orthopaedic footwear, the company has substantially expanded its activities over the last 20 years by investing continuously in research, experimental development and innovation (R&D). It has implemented a number of projects supported by the EU Structural Funds, and become one of the leading manufacturers of personalised medical devices in the Baltic States.

The company’s business model is based on the Industry 4.0 paradigm – a new phase of economic development characterised by the physical, digital and biological interaction of technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, robotics and 3D printing.

Ortho Baltic together with the Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA) is implementing a number of projects supported by the EU Structural Funds, one of which is ‘The implementation of digital technologies’ (Skaitmeninių technologijų diegimas) under priority axis 3 of the Operational Programme for the European Structural Funds Investments in 2014–2020: promoting the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises.

The total value of the project is more than EUR 428,000. More than EUR 150,000 is allocated from the EU Structural Funds under the agreement with the LBSA. The project includes the introduction of robotics technologies, 3D printing, operational production management systems into industrial digitisation technologies, and digital engineering and cyber security.

Ortho Baltic specialises in the human application of massive and state-of-the-art, high-risk personalised medical devices. In addition to the production of traditional individual footwear and special orthopaedic devices – prostheses – the company is also developing a new direction for orthopaedic maxillofacial and neurosurgical implants tailored to patients.

A smart company is also a developer of ICT (information and communication technology) based technology solutions that support a mass application business model. Intelligent, artificial intelligence-based systems for effective communication with customers are being developed. The traditional line is the Smart3DWorks platform for modelling and ordering individual footwear and splint systems, for which  EUR 465,000 in funding has been provided according to the agreement with the LBSA. The new line develops the MICE system for virtual preoperative planning and direct communication with the clients – surgeons. Together with the LBSA, a project worth almost EUR 3 million is being implemented through the Experiment Facility (Eksperimento priemonė) measure. The project develops innovative bioceramic implant technologies and new machine learning algorithms to automate preoperative planning processes. The system will bring together and encourage the sharing of information between medical device manufacturers, physicians and patients.

Ortho Baltic has gradually become a data engineering company. More than 12,000 medical devices for patients are manufactured here each year, and a clinical data set is included in each order. Data are collected, structured and stored in clinical databases.

In addition to R&D projects, the company’s specialists are constantly looking for ways to streamline the mass production model of medical devices using the latest digitisation, data engineering and ICT technologies. One of Ortho Baltic’s latest projects is the ‘Development of Smart Implantable Medical Devices with Diagnostic and Therapeutic Functionality’, which received EUR 1,292,694 in funding under the agreement with the LBSA. The company aims to digitise its products, deploy wireless sensor-based systems and on this basis monitor the operation of devices, read and process clinical data, control the quality of its products and ensure remote monitoring of patients’ health status.

‘The activities of Ortho Baltic, a leading company in its field, have been repeatedly evaluated in our country and abroad. We are happy that its specialists do not stop and boldly implement innovations and even tomorrow’s technologies’, says Agnė Vaitkūnienė, Director of Investment Management Service of the LBSA.

Domantas Ozerenskis, Director of Research and Product Development and member of the Management Board of the company: ‘We focus on the design and production of the highest quality medical devices for patients with rare and severe clinical diseases. On the other hand, there has been an expansion of data collection and processing opportunities, and the emergence of more and more professional data engineering specialists in Lithuania. Our company, with the EU Structural Funds support opportunities, has set the goal of developing and presenting to the world in the near future ICT solutions based on data engineering. This is disrupting the established attitudes and changing the market of medical devices, which can ensure a significantly greater accessibility of medical services for patients and substantially improve the efficiency of the provision of such services.’

Saulius Merkys, Acting Director of the LBSA notes that projects of digitisation of production and companies implementing the most advanced technologies in their activities are of great importance for the country’s economy today. This is especially the case when companies cooperate with local and foreign universities and other research and study institutions to develop new products. ‘We wish them success. The Agency’s specialists are ready to assist all project promoters to realise their goals effectively’, he added.

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