Medtronic seeks to boost surgical robotics play with Digital Surgery acquisition

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Source: Robotics Business Review

Medical technology leader Medtronic PLC announced today that it has acquired Digital Surgery, a privately-held pioneer in surgical artificial intelligence, data and analytics, and digital education and training. Medtronic said the purchase will strengthen its robot-assisted surgical platform and its broader portfolio. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Dublin, Ireland-based Medtronic has more than 90,000 employees worldwide, serving physicians, hospitals, and patients in more than 150 countries. Last fall, the company unveiled its Hugo robotic surgery system.

Digital Surgery’s stated mission is to digitize surgical protocols using cutting-edge computing and to support the delivery of consistent, data-driven, and evidence-based surgical care. Its products include Touch Surgery, an award-winning interactive training platform downloaded more than 2 million times, and GoSurgery, an operating room efficiency platform.

Medtronic said that it does not expect the transaction to affect its fiscal 2020 adjusted earnings per share and that the acquisition should meet its long-term financial metrics. Digital Surgery will join the Surgical Robotics business as part of Medtronic’s Minimally Invasive Therapies Group.

Digital Surgery to add data, analytics to minimally invasive surgery

“Capabilities and solutions in the data and analytics space play a critical role in our continued focus on advancing minimally invasive surgery – from education and training, to clinical decision support, to reducing cost and unwarranted variability,” said Megan Rosengarten, vice president and general manager of the Surgical Robotics business at Medtronic.

“We are thrilled to bring the Digital Surgery team and their expertise into Medtronic, not only due to the strategic fit from a technology perspective, but [also] due to the shared belief that patients around the world deserve access to quality surgical care,” she added. “By pairing digital solutions with robotic platforms and instrumentation, we can have a big impact on expanding patient access.”

Digital Surgery will remain headquartered in London, where there are plans for continued investment and workforce expansion. The company’s executive team, including the two surgeon co-founders, Dr. Andre Chow and Dr. Jean Nehme, will remain in place.

“Joining Medtronic creates an incredible opportunity to realize the promise of reducing unwarranted variability in surgery,” said Nehme, CEO 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,” he said.

Digital Surgery and Medtronic said their co-developed digital solutions will be offered on future Medtronic soft-tissue robotic-assisted surgery systems. A spokeswoman for Medtronic told Robotics Business Review that a team is working on integrating the two companies’ technologies but doesn’t have an exact timeline to share yet.

“We’re looking forward to bringing that to life as part of Medtronic’s vision to advance minimally invasive surgery and increase access to high-quality surgical outcomes for patients around the world,” she wrote.

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