Google and J&J's Ethicon are developing a new MIS surgical robot
"Johnson & Johnson today announced that Ethicon, a medical device company in the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, has executed a definitive agreement to enter into a strategic collaboration with Google, Inc., working with the Life Sciences team on advancing surgical robotics to benefit surgeons, patients and health care systems.
The companies will 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 Innovation in California."
"Google wants to be everywhere, even inside your body. On Friday, Google and the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson announced a partnership between Google’s life sciences division and Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson that makes surgical products, to develop new robot-assisted surgery technologies. The deal “will help explore how the latest innovations in computer science and advanced imaging and sensors could be integrated into tools that help surgeons as they operate,” Google said in a statement. For now, the announcement is mostly just that — an announcement. The companies gave few details about the nature of the partnership or how much money might be involved. Google at least said its contribution would not be in developing surgical instruments, but rather in its particular skill in handling large amounts of data. In statements, the companies suggested that some of their goals included developing imaging technologies that would give surgeons a clearer real-time look inside the body, or software that could highlight features that are crucial but difficult to see, such as blood vessels, nerves or the margins around a tumor, which can be crucial to a successful cancer surgery. Google also said its team would try to figure out how to consolidate volumes of medical data and testing into a more useful interface. “Surgeons typically consult multiple separate screens in the operating room to view preoperative medical images (e.g., M.R.I.s), see results of previous surgeries and lab tests, or understand how to navigate an aberrant anatomical structure,” the company said in its statement. “Smart software could overlay these images on top of the interface where a surgeon is already viewing a robotic-assisted operation.”
Hat tip: TianX