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Medtronic's (MDT) Brain Therapies Device Receives FDA Approval

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Medtronic plc MDT received the FDA’s approval for its Stealth Autoguide system, which integrates with its enabling technology portfolio to develop an end-to-end procedural solution. With the recent clearance, the company aims to strengthen its brain therapies business by enhancing focus on the robotics platform globally.

Notably, the brain therapies business is part of Medtronic’s broader Restorative Therapies Group segment.

Stealth Autoguide at a Glance

The Stealth Autoguide system, which is a robotic guidance system, is intended to be used for the spatial positioning and orientation of instrument holders or tool guides used in neurosurgical procedures.

Per the company, the Stealth Autoguide system can now be used for biopsy procedures, stereoelectroencephalography (sEEG) depth electrode placement and the positioning of the Visualase bone anchor used for catheter placement. The solutions are part of Medtronic’s surgical synergy platform that integrates the company’s technologies to create consistent, predictable and reproducible procedures.



Significance of the Approval

The Stealth Autoguide system integrates with StealthStation Image Guidance systems and the Midas Rex high-speed surgical drill platform. The navigation software enhances surgical workflow, thus providing continuous real-time navigation and visual feedback on robotic positioning for better efficiency.

Per the medical fraternity, the FDA nod will help clinicians to perform unique surgical procedures with increased accuracy as the system provides visualization throughout the procedure, with the ability to drill on the axis of a surgical plan.

Industry Prospects

Per a report by Allied Market Research, the global surgical robotics market was valued at $56,294.9 million in 2017 and is expected to reach $98,737million by 2024 , witnessing a CAGR of 8.5%. Certain factors — including the rising need for automation in the healthcare industry and the shifting trend toward advanced robotic surgeries — are expected to drive the market.

Given the potential of the market, the FDA clearance is well-timed.

Recent Developments in Medtronic’s Restorative Therapies Group

Medtronic launched an advanced Patient Programmer technology for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) therapy this October. The technology was approved by the FDA in July 2019.

The company submitted a pre-market approval (PMA) supplement to the FDA in October to obtain clearances for its InterStim Micro neurostimulator and InterStim SureScan MRI leads.

In July, Medtronic partnered with Viz.ai (an emerging key player in applied AI in stroke care) to accelerate the adoption of Viz.ai’s technology, which helps synchronize stroke care and reduce the treatment time.

In April, Medtronic launched the Solitaire X Revascularization Device and used it for the first time to treat acute ischemic stroke.

Price Performance

Shares of Medtronic have gained 24.7% in the past year compared with the industry’s 15.8% growth.

Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

Currently, Medtronic carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Some other top-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Haemonetics Corporation HAE, National Vision Holdings, Inc EYE and ResMed Inc RMD.

Haemonetics currently has a Zacks Rank #2 and a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 13.5%.

National Vision’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 17.8%. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

ResMed’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 14%. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1.

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