Profile: Armen Bakirtzian, 2012 FuEL Award Winner

Written by Frank Condron

Armen Bakirtzian

CEO | Avenir Medical Inc.

Waterloo, Ont.

Employees: 3 | Age: 27

Q&A from Armen Bakirtzian

Looking for ideas for a fourth-year engineering project, Armen Bakirtzian took the advice of his father, an orthopedic surgeon, and came up with a solution for aligning joints during hip-replacement surgery.

The result of the project is PelvAssist, an alignment device combining sensors and proprietary software to facilitate more accurate hip-implant placement.

Compared with existing, optical-based joint-navigation technologies, PelvAssist is smaller, easier to use and trims about 30 minutes from total surgery time while doing so at a fraction of the cost: $400 per surgery, compared with $250,000. The device also dramatically reduces the surgery’s failure rate, potentially saving the heath-care system $500 million per year, says Bakirtzian. He expects to have about 250 surgeons using the device by 2016.

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