Andrews Memorial Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica, which is owned by Seventh-Day Adventists, was the site of the world’s first 4-level viscoelastic cervical disc replacement procedure. The surgery ushered in a new and advanced approach to spinal surgery. A team of physicians headed by Dr. Kingsley R. Chin, a world-famous Harvard-trained orthopedic spinal surgeon, performed the procedure on January 30, 2017, using advanced technology called the “Freedom Cervical Disc.” The technology is owned by Axiomed Incorporated, a company founded by Dr. Chin, and took 16 years and more than US$85 million to develop the level of efficacy, quality and safety in both lumbar and cervical versions required to implant the discs in the United States, Europe and Australia. The lumbar version has already completed clinical trials in over 400 patients in the US and could be available in 2018. Preclinical trials of the cervical version were completed in Europe.
Jamaica and the hospital benefitted from the fact that Dr. Chin is Jamaica and a top surgeon-entrepreneur who recognized the value of the technology and purchased it from its original founders in order to offer it in Jamaica. Dr. Chin was a businessman in New York City before becoming a surgeon and has founded firms to commercialize technologies that have provided benefits to patients around the world.
Dr. Chin founded Axiomed Inc. in 2005 to advance standards of patient care around the world. The new technology is perfect in treating degenerative spinal pain because it closely resembles a normal disc. It accomplishes this by using a proprietary viscoelastic polymer technology under 15-year exclusive license to Axiomed for use in the spine. The disc relieves neck and back pain while allowing for more normal motion than obtained with other disc replacement and spinal fusion devices, which immobilize the spine.
Dr. Chin has been working as a visiting professor at the University of the West Indies for decade and was encouraged by Seventh-Day Adventist doctor Dr. Fabio Pencie, to open his Orthopedic and Spine Surgery, LESS Institute Inc. Center of Excellence, which is based in the US, at Andre Memorial Hospital. Dr. Chin was raised as a Seventh-Day Adventist in Buff Bay in Portland, leaving Jamaica for the US on a football-academic scholarship to Columbia University in New York City. He went on to graduate school at Harvard University, where he became an orthopedic surgeon. He also taught at the University of Pennsylvania as chief spine surgeon before moving to Florida to open his LES Institute.
Source: Seventh Day Adventist Hospital