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Google and J&J team up for robotic surgery

Two firms looking to revolutionise medical technology

Google HQ 

Johnson & Johnson's medical device subsidiary Ethicon has signed a deal with technology giant Google to develop new surgical robotics to benefit surgeons, patients and healthcare systems.

In a joint statement the two companies said they would bring together capabilities, intellectual property and expertise to create an “innovative robotic-assisted surgical platform capable of integrating advanced technologies with the goal of improving health care delivery in the operating room”. 

The collaboration was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson's Innovation group in California - financial details have not been disclosed.

Robotic-assisted surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery that uses technology to give surgeons greater control, access and accuracy during the surgical procedure while benefitting patients by minimising trauma and scarring, enabling accelerated post-surgical healing. 

The companies are seeking to develop new robotic tools and capabilities for surgeons and operating room professionals that integrate best-in-class medical device technology with leading-edge robotic systems, imaging and data analytics.

Gary Pruden, worldwide chairman and global surgery group at Johnson & Johnson, said: “For more than 60 years, Ethicon has developed products and technologies that have transformed the way surgery is done.

“This collaboration with Google is another important step in our commitment to advancing surgical care, and together, we aim to put the best science, technology and surgical know-how in the hands of medical teams around the world.”

The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2015. 

The life sciences part of the so-called 'Google X' research lab last year unveiled projects in genomic data and nano-diagnostics led by Andrew Conrad, a co-founder of the National Genomics Institute.

In 2013 Google also launched its healthcare division Calico - an abbreviation for the 'California Life Company' - which is being led and invested in by Arthur Levinson, chairman and former chief executive of Genentech and current chairman of Google's rival internet firm Apple.  

The firm is looking to counteract the affects of ageing and also help develop new devices and even medicines to help across a variety of conditions. 

Article by
Ben Adams

31st March 2015

From: Healthcare

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