Smith & Nephew teases next-gen surgical robotics platform

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Navio robotic-assisted surgery system. (Credit: Smith & Nephew)

Smith & Nephew has acquired Brainlab‘s orthopedic joint reconstruction business and teased the unveiling of a next-generation surgical robotics platform for later in 2019.

The London-based company said that its acquisition of Brainlab’s orthopaedic joint reconstruction business included its associated salesforce, which it plans to fold into its surgical robotics division. It added that it will look to install Brainlab’s hip software onto its currently-in-development Navio 7.0 handheld surgical system, which it plans to release during the second half of this year.

Along with the acquisition, Smith & Nephew said that it inked a collaborative development deal with Brainlab to develop additional applications for its advanced automation platform.

Related: Think Surgical raises $134M for TSolution One robotics platform

“The near-term commercial opportunities with the innovation of our robotics platform and the integration of the Brainlab hip software are very compelling. Not to mention, the strong collaboration on design and development of next generation technology that will bring our customers more differentiated advanced surgical capabilities. We’re excited to work together with Brainlab to bring the future of the digitally integrated O.R. to life and into the hands of surgeons world-wide,” Skip Kiil, President, Global Orthopeadics, Smith & Nephew said in a prepared statement.


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In the same release, the company said that it expects to complete development of its next-generation surgical robotics platform some time later this year, with a full commercial release in 2020. It teased that the new platform will have a dramatically reduced footprint and be able to be incorporated into the company’s sports medicine tower, and that the system will be faster than its still-in-development Navio 7.0.

Smith & Nephew added that its research & development program is looking to add augmented reality, stand-alone robotic arms and machine learning to the platform, and that it plans to open a new R&D and education center focused on robotics in Pittsburgh.

“Smith & Nephew is making a long-term commitment to bring together advanced technologies in robotics, digital surgery, and machine learning as well as augmented reality to empower surgeons and improve clinical outcomes. Over time these digital surgery and robotic assets will be deployed across all surgical specialities and healthcare settings where Smith & Nephew’s operates, starting with orthopaedic reconstruction and sports medicine,” CEO Namal Nawana said in a press release.

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