Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) executives yesterday said the company is “on track” with its Verb Surgical prototype robot-assisted surgery platform, with chairman & CEO Alex Gorsky labeling the healthcare giant’s approach with Alphabet‘s (NSDQ:GOOGL) Verily Life Sciences as “computerized surgery.”
“We are quite excited about our computerized surgery program. Everything up to this point in time is on track. We’re continuing to make really good progress,” Gorsky said during a conference call with analysts discussing second-quarter results. “We think that there’s an opportunity there not to just actually improve the surgery itself [but to] bring data to bear in the operating room, having much more flexibility and modularity in the system that we would introduce.”
Gorsky said that the Verb Surgical project, which CFO Dominic Caruso said unveiled its prototype late last year, “also offers a great opportunity for the rest of our surgical care business as part of an entire system and offering.”
At last year’s DeviceTalks West event, Verb Surgical CEO Scott Huennekens told MassDevice.com Publisher Brian Johnson that the company thinks of it’s offering as “Surgery 4.0.”
“We’re not a robotics company. We’re a platform company. There will be robotics – which are a key element – but also advanced instrumentation, advanced visualization, data analytics and machine learning,” Huennekens told us. “In the worlds of surgery, there was open surgery – that was Surgery 1.0. Then there was laparoscopic surgery – 2.0. Robotic surgery – 3.0. We think in terms of this new era of digital surgery, which is to say that robotics is a tool. It will be used on open surgeries, laparoscopic surgeries. Data analytics and machine learning, again, working on open and laparoscopic procedures as a tool.”
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