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Medtronic (MDT) Boosts Surgical Robotics Wing With New Deal

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Medtronic MDT recently partnered with healthcare service company Vizient to offer the latter its AI-powered surgical video management and analytics platform for the operating room (OR), Touch Surgery Enterprise. This platform is part of Medtronic's portfolio of artificial intelligence (AI) and surgical robotic solutions. The deal with Vizient is expected to broaden Medtronic’s Surgical Robotics business.

However, the financial terms of this contract have not been disclosed.

More on Touch Surgery Enterprise

According to Medtronic, Touch Surgery Enterprise is the first AI-powered platform of this kind for OR. It is compatible with Medtronic’s Hugo robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) system.

It works effortlessly with many laparoscopic and robotic scopes, enabling hospitals to take the first step to digitizing their OR while leveraging existing equipment. This fully integrated and cloud-connected hardware and software system simplifies the process of recording, analyzing, and sharing surgical video.

This platform thereby gives the surgical teams easy access to procedural videos and insights.

A Strategic Deal for Medtronic

Vizient at present is the nation’s prominent healthcare performance improvement company, which according to Medtronic, serves more than half the nation's acute care providers, including academic medical centers, community hospitals, pediatric facilities, and non-acute care providers. This deal with Vizient will therefore help Medtronic to significantly increase its customer base in the growing space of AI-powered medical device.

In this regard, Touch Surgery Enterprise, which is compatible with Medtronic’s RAS system, is expected to increase healthcare providers’ ability to analyze surgical processes for advanced patient care. The Hugo RAS is commercially available in certain geographies. In the EU, the Hugo RAS system is CE marked. In Canada, it has a medical device license and is approved in Australia. In the United States, the Hugo RAS system is an investigational device not for sale.

AI Makes Inroads in MedTech

AI-driven technologies are playing a vital role in combatting the pandemic. Though AI in healthcare is not new, it gained prominence amid several intensified COVID-19 phases when remote monitoring and treatment were the need of the hour.

While the COVID-19 outbreak had a positive influence on the AI market, according to the majority of market watchers, the acceptance trend of digital health will continue beyond the pandemic, considering the advanced clinical outcomes and reduced costs of this mechanism.

Apart from Medtronic, Stryker SYK has significant exposure to robotics, AI for health care and medical mechatronics, which lent the company a competitive edge in the MedTech space. Stryker’s portfolio includes products like Hip, Knee and Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgeries.

Stryker offers Mako, a robotic-arm assisted surgery platform, which is the first and only robotic technology that can be used for total knee, hip and partial knee replacement procedures. In 2021, the company’s Mako install base saw growth of 27%. It currently has an installed base that is moving toward 1500 Mako robots. This reflects the strong demand for Stryker’s differentiated Mako robotic technology.

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions MDRX too has hit various innovation milestones over the past few months. In October 2021, the company announced the launch of Guided Scheduling, the latest addition to its automation features in Allscripts Practice Management.

Allscripts’ Guided Scheduling is an AI scheduling application that utilizes real-time provider, practice and industry data to improve patient care and increase healthcare operational efficiencies. In the same month, Veradigm — a business unit of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions — entered into an agreement with CareMetx to integrate its solutions and services directly into the Veradigm AccelRx specialty medication platform. The new partnership simplifies and accelerates the specialty approval medication process.

Syneos Health SYNH in October 2021 acquired RxDataScience – a healthcare-focused data analytics, data management and AI company. The acquisition brings AI and data engineering expertise, enterprise analytics and technology-enabled solutions to Syneos Health’s portfolio. Combining the company’s end-to-end services and deep behavioral and therapeutic expertise with RxDataScience’s AI and data-science capabilities will generate customer strategies to boost product development.

In September, Syneos Health acquired StudyKIK, which expands Syneos Health’s ability to accelerate site start-up as well as patient enrolment engagement through their global network of patient communities and advanced technology platform, thereby enhancing patient retention and access.


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