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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Medtronic to boost its AI, surgical robotics work with new acquisition

Health Industry Hub | February 17, 2020 |

MedTech News: Medtronic is looking to augment not only its work in robotic surgery but efforts across all of its procedural offerings through the acquisition of Digital Surgery, London-based maker of data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital training programs for the operating room.

Headquartered in London, Digital Surgery’s mission is to digitise surgical protocols using cutting-edge computing and to support the delivery of consistent, data-driven and evidence-based surgical care. Digital Surgery will operate under the robotics arm of Medtronic’s Minimally Invasive Therapies Group.

“And as we have been approaching the commercialisation of our robotics platform, we’ve been, in parallel, focused on investing in and developing products, road maps and capabilities in those vectors,” said Megan Rosengarten, vice president and general manager of Medtronic’s surgical robotics business.

The deal includes Digital Surgery’s education app, Touch Surgery, with its on-demand library of hundreds of videos and procedure simulations for training surgeons and students outside the OR. The company also provides a surgical video sharing platform, which uses AI to automatically recognise and blur out images that could be used to identify patients or staff. This allows surgeons to annotate and edit videos for post-procedure team assessments, institutional training or use at conferences.

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“The plans on this are to continue to grow and commercialise the products that exist within Digital Surgery today, in both laparoscopic and robotic surgery,” added Ms Rosengarten. “And they also bolster the data science capabilities that we have within the surgical robotics group and will help develop the road map of solutions we have planned for the software that will be rolling out on our Hugo platform.”

“Joining Medtronic creates an incredible opportunity to realise the promise of reducing unwarranted variability in surgery,” said Dr. Jean Nehme, surgeon, CEO and co-founder of Digital Surgery. “We have always believed in computational power and data as two central drivers of consistency and quality in surgery. Computational power has impacted our lives in so many ways, and within surgery it is almost absent. By joining forces with Medtronic, we will finally apply computing and AI to surgery on a meaningful scale with a goal of helping more patients in more places benefit from consistently high-quality surgical care.”

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