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Zimmer Biomet (ZBH) New WalkAI Model to Bolster Robotics Arm

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Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. ZBH recently released a dynamic artificial intelligence (AI) model called WalkAI that predicts postoperative recovery progress. More specifically, this model addresses patients who have a lower gait (walking) speed outcome at 90 days after hip or knee surgery.

ZBH claims WalkAI to be the orthopedic industry's first and only AI-based model to create daily, personalized predictions and identify patients who may be exceptions to typical recovery curves.

This artificial intelligence model is expected to enhance Zimmer Biomet’s Global Robotics and Technology & Data Solutions wing.

A Few Words on WalkAI

WalkAI is Zimmer Biomet’s first AI-based solution. According to the company, it adds powerful predictive analytic capabilities to ZBEdge, which is Zimmer Biomet’s suite of integrated digital and robotic technologies. It helps deliver transformative data-powered clinical insights with the goal of improving patient outcomes.

WalkAI works on Zimmer Biomet’s proprietary, artificial intelligence algorithm to analyze a patient's mobility to generate a personalized daily prediction of their gait speed at 90 days after surgery.

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The daily prediction is compared to anonymized, real-world data from the extensive ZBEdge database to identify when a patient's recovery may not be on track based on predicted low gait speed.

Addressing the diversion in typical recovery curves of the patients, WalkAI is expected to help surgeons mitigate or minimize poor outcomes of a surgery.

Industry Prospects

Per a report by MARKETSANDMARKETS, global artificial intelligence in the healthcare market is projected to rise from $6.9 billion in 2021 to $67.4 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 46.2%.

The rising need to reduce healthcare costs, improve computing power and bring down hardware costs, and expand partnerships and collaborations among different domains in the healthcare sector drives the market.

Zimmer Biomet's Robotics Business Continues to Prosper

Zimmer Biomet, in spite of a difficult business scenario through the past few months, has been able to drive continued strong demand and momentum for the ROSA robotics line globally. In 2021, the company more than doubled the number of installed ROSAs versus its cumulative total at the end of 2020. As a major milestone achieved, in the fourth quarter, those installed ROSAs allowed Zimmer Biomet to reach 10% in total knee procedure penetration in the United States for the first time as a company. The team also delivered a successful limited launch of the world's first and only smart knee, the Persona iQ. So far, the customer feedback has been good.

In this line, in February, the company announced the opening of the ZBEdge Customer Experience Centre (CEC) in Singapore to boost robotics and medical technology transformation.

The latest development is expected to add extra impetus to the company’s robotics business.

Share Price Performance

In the past year, Zimmer Biomet has underperformed its industry. The stock has lost 26.4% compared with the 20% fall of the industry.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Zimmer Biomet currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Henry Schein, Inc. HSIC, Owens & Minor, Inc. OMI and AmerisourceBergen Corporation ABC.

Henry Schein has an estimated long-term growth rate of 11.8%. Henry Schein’s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 25.5%. It carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Henry Schein has outperformed the industry over the past year. HSIC has gained 27.8% compared with the industry’s 9.1% rise over the past year.

Owens & Minor has a long-term earnings growth rate of 23.6%. Owens & Minor’s earnings surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering a surprise of 29.5%, on average. It carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Owens & Minor has outperformed the industry over the past year. OMI has gained 9.7% against 16.2% industry decline in the said period.

AmerisourceBergen has a long-term earnings growth rate of 8.2%. In the trailing four quarters, AmerisourceBergen’s earnings surpassed estimates in thrice and missed once, delivering an average surprise of 2.3%. The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

AmerisourceBergen has outperformed its industry in the past year, gaining 29.1% compared with the industry’s 9.1% rise.


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