Taking robotics to the next level of precision orthopedics: Q&A with MORE Foundation’s Dr. Marc Jacofsky

Taking robotics to the next level of precision orthopedics: Q&A with MORE Foundation’s Dr. Marc Jacofsky

This interview originally appeared in Becker’s Orthopedic and Spine Review on June 8, 2020.


Marc Jacofsky, PhD, chief scientific officer of HOPCo, which manages The CORE Institute, plays an integral role in the organization’s efforts to advance musculoskeletal research and treatment. He is also a founding member of MORE Foundation, the charitable organization associated with Phoenix-based The CORE Institute. Here he describes how robotics will play an important role in orthopedics going forward and what MORE Foundation is doing to contribute.

Question: What is the mission and focus of MORE Foundation?

Dr. Marc Jacofsky: The mission of MORE Foundation is to Keep Life in Motion through innovative research, community education and charitable assistance programs in the field of musculoskeletal health. MORE Foundation conducts over a dozen clinical trials per year and houses two state of the art laboratories dedicated to biomechanics and human movement analysis. As an accredited CME provider, MORE Foundation is continually helping to define the standard of care through its nationally recognized educational events which draw prominent faculty and attendees from across the country. Our charitable assistance programs ensure access to musculoskeletal care for military veterans and children with upper limb differences.

Q: How do you see robotics and technology evolving in orthopedics today?

MJ: Robotics have introduced a new level of precision to orthopedic surgery. From surgical planning using advanced imaging techniques to the ability to execute the surgical plan without deviation, robots and associated software allow the surgeon to be incredibly precise. We are now at a point where the ability of the surgeon-robot team to execute a surgical plan has exceeded our ability to generate evidence-based patient-specific surgical plans that will optimize the biomechanics and outcomes of individual patients. The robots are capable of performing critical surgical steps with high precision, but what should we be programming the robot to do? The future of robotics will rely on improved patient centered programming strategies and a lot more research is needed in this area.

Q: What research are you most excited about?

MJ: I am most excited about the robotic simulation research platforms. While robots clearly have an established role in patient care, they also have a lot to offer in answering unknown questions that remain around optimizing the programming of surgical robots. We have built both upper and lower extremity robotic simulators that can test new paradigms and provide new insights into surgical planning. Our simulators can tension the tendons in a cadaver limb and see how the limb moves in response to this ‘muscle input.’ By doing this with multiple muscles simultaneously we can recreate human-like motion in a robotic simulation, much the way a puppeteer controls a marionette – only we accomplish this under precise computer control systems that we have developed in-house. Having our Human Motion Lab right next door allows us to quickly validate our simulations with patients and volunteers.

Q: What impact do you hope to make on the field of orthopedics in the future?

MJ: MORE Foundation looks forward to advancing the ability for surgeons to provide patient specific care through optimized biomechanical algorithms which result from our research. This will allow the orthopedic community to take full advantage of the precision offered by the robotic tools at their disposal. Of course, as we discover we feel it is our duty to educate, to disseminate new found knowledge and advance the standard of musculoskeletal care across the global orthopedic community.

American Legion Rider’s Come out in Support of MORE Foundation’s Veterans’ Transportation Program

American Legion Rider’s Come out in Support of MORE Foundation’s Veterans’ Transportation Program

On Saturday March 7, the American Legion Post 34 organized its second annual Ride ‘N Raise to ensure veterans in Maricopa County would have continued access to medical transportation.  The event, which welcomed all vehicle types into the annual “poker run”, helps to support MORE Foundation’s Veterans Transportation Assistance Program (V-TAP).  The event saw a great turnout and culminated in a fun-filled afternoon featuring live music and charity auctions at the Post headquarters in Cave Creek.

The American Legion Post recently presented MORE Foundation with the proceeds of the fundraiser, which will fund over 50 medical transport rides for veterans who need assistance.  These rides ensure our veterans can Keep Life in Motion by fulfilling the critical role that reliable medical transportation plays in maintaining health, mobility and independence.

Since its inception in 2015, V-TAP, in partnership with Quality Transportation Services of Arizona, has provided over 1,400 reliable and compassionate medical rides to the veterans of Maricopa County.  The current COVID-19 pandemic and the associated shelter in place and social distancing guidelines, creates new challenges for veterans to travel to and from needed medical appointments.  Now more than ever, V-TAP plays a vital role in the health and safety of veterans by providing timely, professional and private rides to medical providers across the county.

If you are interested in supporting MORE Foundation and the V-TAP program, please consider making a donation at www.more-foundation.org/donate.

Millions watch more foundation help 7-year old girl

She has a smile that can light up a room

Rumi was born with a right arm that ends just beneath her elbow, and that difference was making it increasingly difficult for her to keep up with her friends. It also made Rumi the target of bullying.

But on Sunday, May 13, 2018, an audience estimated at 2-million viewers tuned in to watch TLC’s “This Is Life Live” and see the More Foundation present Rumi and her mom with a 3d-printed prosthetic arm and grasping hand that could change everything for this wonderful child. Plus, a custom-designed swim fin to help keep Rumi safe in the pool. Watch how local media covered this remarkable story.

View Article

MORE Foundation on TV!

It was a blend of science and science fiction, centering around a child cute enough to star in a Steven Spielberg film. Virtually every TV news station in Phoenix converged on the headquarters of the MORE Foundation to see him, and the amazing prosthetic hand created for him by the MORE Foundation. And the story has now spread across America.

Viewers from LA to New York, from Minnesota to Miami, saw Jacob’s sheer delight when his Christmas present from the MORE Foundation turned out to be a prosthetic designed to look like his beloved “Stormtrooper” characters from “Star Wars.”. The 5-year old, who was born without a fully formed right hand, quickly demonstrated how his new hand will change his life.

It’s all part of the MORE Foundation’s “Helping Hands” program, which uses 3D printing technology to make customized prosthetic hands for children in need.

Check out what the syndicated news magazine “Inside Edition” had to say about us!

And if you have a child in need of a prosthetic hand, or want to support the MORE Foundation’s effort to help more children, please call 623-241-8724 or contact us via our online form.

Inside Edition’s story

MORE Foundation “Helping Hands” Makes National Headlines

The MORE Foundation is front page news! Our first delivery of a prosthetic hand made on a 3D printer went to a 5-year old Star Wars fan who was born without a fully formed right hand, and we engineered it to look like his favorite “Stormtrooper” characters.

And just in time for Christmas! The Arizona Republic put “Jacob’s Story” right on their front page on Christmas Day, with a video report of this heartwarming event on az.central.com.

It’s all part of our “Helping Hands” program, which is dedicated to creating low-cost, high technology prosthetic hands for children in need. Using 3D printer technology, we can dramatically lower costs, and help many more children in the process.

But Jacob’s hand was a gift, and you can watch him open the box and quickly take up the challenge of learning to use his new hand. From tossing a ball, to jumping into “Star Wars’ mode and brandishing a ‘light saber’. Plus, he’s now learning to write with his dominant right hand.
A wonderful day, watching a little boy embrace his future.

If you have a child in need of a prosthetic hand, or want to support The MORE Foundation’s effort to help more children, please call 623-241-8724 or contact us via online form.

AZ Central’s Story


The MORE Foundation presents Jacob with his new hand!

MORE Foundation announces success of its second annual Ride ‘N Raise Fundraiser

MORE Foundation wants to thank its supporters for showing up in force to its second annual Ride ‘N Raise Fundraiser on Sunday November 12th, 2017.  The crowd turned out to enjoy a day of music, food, and fun in the sun in support of MORE Foundation’s Veterans’ Transportation Program (V-TAP).  Not only did they show up to support our veterans, but they were generous with their participation in our silent auction and raffles.  This Ride ‘N Raise event generated contributions that will fund 200 medical rides for veterans in need of safe, reliable, and low cost transportation in order to stay on top of their healthcare needs.  Without the generous support of attendees at our annual Ride ‘N Raise events, MORE Foundation would not be able to help all of these veterans Keep Life In Motion® by improving access to healthcare throughout Maricopa County.

Veterans Day Weekend Event to Benefit Veterans Needing Transportation to Medical Care

Fundraiser will support MORE Foundation’s Veterans Transportation Assistance Program (V-TAP)

PHOENIX (Oct. 31, 2017) — On the Sunday after Veterans Day, you can honor those who’ve served our country and raise funds for the Veterans Transportation Assistance Program (V-TAP).

The 2nd Annual “Ride N’ Raise: Providing MORE Mobility for our Veterans” event will be held Sun., Nov.12, from 2 to 6 p.m. at Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale, 15656 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale. 

Purchase of a $25 ticket grants admission to the fundraiser, which will feature live music, a complimentary meal and water, tea or lemonade. Silent auction items include suite tickets for a Phoenix Suns game, box seats for the Arizona Diamondbacks, high-end resort packages and gift cards from major retailers. All proceeds will go to support the Veterans Transportation Assistance Program (V-TAP).

V-TAP helps military veterans get to medical appointments with free transportation, including those who require special assistance (e.g., when a wheelchair or stretcher is needed, or a Veteran requires oxygen).

V-TAP was launched in July 2015 by The MORE Foundation, a non-profit organization, and  Quality Transport Services of Arizona (QTS). The program has provided more than 1,000 transports to Veterans and family members since 2015 and aims to expand to 800 rides in 2018.

Purchase tickets for Ride N’ Raise online at www.ridenraise.org. Those interested in supporting V-TAP can also donate a ride for a veteran with a $50 donation online. Tickets will be available at the door, but purchase now to avoid waiting in line.

Contact Victoria Icenogle at [email protected] with questions about the event, including sponsorship opportunities.

1510 AM: Money Radio

92.3 FM KTAR: 5-0

Scottsdale Independant

View article here

MORE Foundation announces a major milestone in our Veterans Transportation Assistance Program (V-TAP)

MORE Foundation is proud to announce that in the third quarter of 2017, the Foundation achieved a major milestone by delivering its 1,000th veterans’ medical transportation ride.  In just under 3 years after launching its V-TAP program, MORE and its ride partner, Quality Transportation Services of Arizona, have enabled over 1,000 medical transportation rides – which bring veterans to and from necessary medical care and social services.

Thanks to the success of our Ride ‘N Raise Fundraiser in November of 2016, we were able to accelerate the number and pace of rides, which allowed us to achieve this milestone in under 3 years of operations.  In addition to transporting veterans to medical appointments, our supporters have facilitated veterans and their spouses; in getting to and from hospice, a blind veteran in picking up his prescriptions from the pharmacy, and a homeless veteran in getting to and from a housing services program. Many of the veterans who utilize these services are disabled, confined to wheelchairs, confined to gurneys, and utilize oxygen therapy – all of which make it incredibly difficult to use traditional forms of transportation.

MORE Foundation wants to thank all of its generous supporters for allowing us to Keep Life in Motion® for all of the veterans who have served this great nation and benefited from this outstanding program.

New Program Transports Disabled Veterans to Medical Appointments

PHOENIX (Jan. 5, 2016) — A new program is helping military veterans with disabilities get to their doctor appointments with free specialized transportation assistance.

The Veterans Transportation Assistance Program (V-TAP) was launched thanks to The MORE Foundation (Musculoskeletal Orthopedic Research and Education), a non-profit organization sponsored in part by The CORE Institute, which is a premier group of orthopedic and neurologic medicine specialists. An initial 90-day pilot last year, which covered transportation costs for 110 military veterans to make their doctor and physical therapy appointments, has been extended.

In the first two months of the pilot, the program:

  • Provided transportation to hospice for a veteran when the family could no longer care for him, and made it possible for his wheelchair-bound spouse to visit him.
  • Took a home-bound veteran to his doctors, pharmacy and to buy shoes because he no longer owned a pair that fit. The driver was able to coordinate purchasing his shoes.
  • Coordinated a meeting and transport for a veteran’s spouse to help her obtain benefits for her husband after he suffered a stroke that left him completely dependent on his wife and in debt due to increasing medical expenses.
  • Transported a homeless veteran and his spouse who were living without electricity and running water to various medical appointments, and to several appointments to seek assistance with his benefits and HUD housing.

Given the impact of the pilot program, a longer term commitment was made, which was funded primarily by The CORE Institute.

“In a very short time the V-TAP program has assisted many veterans and their families with needed transportation to make their appointments,” said Patricia Lewis Finnell, Board Chairwoman of the MORE Foundation. “We are grateful for the response we have received from them about the positive impact V-TAP has made in their lives.”

V-TAP is working with Quality Transport Services of Arizona (QTS) to provide assisted transportation for people who need wheelchairs or stretchers. “The MORE Foundation’s transportation assistance program has made a significant positive impact on many veterans across Arizona,” adds QTS owner Andy Beran. “This program is helping veterans overcome a significant challenge when their medical recovery is transportation related.”

Transportation through the V-TAP program is available to any physician or physical therapy office in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Media Spotlight

-Fox News: http://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/arizona-news/new-program-ensures-disabled-veterans-can-get-to-doctor-appointments

-AZ Morning Scramble: https://mobile.twitter.com/morningscramble/status/692729379663663104