Torbjorn Skold

Torbjorn Skold, Vice President EMEA DePuy Synthes Joint Reconstruction

Inspired by the company’s mission to “Keep People Moving”, Torbjorn is passionate about value creating innovation in orthopedics, with focus on Hip and Knee Arthroplasty and Enabling Technology. Torbjorn’s career spans close to 20 years of success building market leading medical technology businesses with deep knowledge of customer needs, international markets, marketing, healthcare systems and technology combined with multinational experience from EMEA, U.S. and Asia.

Over the last 18 months, many hospitals were forced to postpone elective surgeries to make room for COVID-19 critical care. In the UK alone, 100,000 people had their joint replacement procedures cancelled during first wave, leaving them with untreated pain and mobility challenges. More than one-third of those waiting for a total knee or hip arthroplasty described their state of being as “worse than death”, a situation twice as bad as that observed prior to the pandemic. The picture is similar across Europe. Osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative joint condition that affects approximately 350 million people worldwide, is one of the most frequent conditions for which patients may need a total knee replacement. We know that as populations age, the risk of OA increases – leading to higher demand for care. Medical professionals face huge challenges in addressing the decreasing quality of life and the mounting quantity of cases. I believe that our industry should focus on helping surgeons, patients, nurses, and healthcare systems work through this backlog. Ultimately, our goal is to achieve and maintain a high throughput of patients without compromising on either the outcomes or the standards of care. Since it’s unlikely that hospitals can double the number of surgeons or that they will receive extra resources, what remains within their control is to perform orthopedic procedures more effectively and efficiently. In essence, patient throughput is a function of three factors: operating time, complications, and length of stay (LOS). Consistently shorter procedure times allow hospital planners to put more patients on a list, maximizing the use of available operating theatre space. Choosing one implant over another could reduce surgery time allowing an additional patient to be added to each operating list. Each complication is likely to block a bed and to affect operating capacities and hospital personnel. The...