Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak sees innovation in robotics, more tuck-in deals for 2020


Medtronic Chairman and CEO Omar Ishrak, PhD, is excited for the coming year. As he wraps up his time as head of the company, Medtronic will continue down the path of innovation for its core product lines. 

At the 38th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Jan. 13, Dr. Ishrak spoke about the company's future, touching on both its robotic spine offerings and acquisition of Titan Spine, which was completed in June 2019. He also mentioned the company is prepared to make additional tuck-in M&A deals over the next year as it starts to use the free cash flow it generated in the past year.

The spine field is growing into a big driver for Medtronic alongside its enabling technologies, led by the Mazor robot integrated with Medtronic's StealthStation technology.

"[The Titan Spine acquisition and Mazor X Stealth Edition] will give us real leadership position, and more than leadership, a growth position in the spinal market including enabling technologies," said Dr. Ishrak during the presentation, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha. "We're really excited about this and I'm thrilled to see what happened to this business, which at one time was not growing and now is one of our key growth drivers."

Medtronic also plans to launch robotic technology for general surgery, pending regulatory approvals, within the next year. "Our vision of robotics is that it is going to change general surgery, and this is only the launching platform for us," said Dr. Ishrak. "I know there are big competitors out there. The market is already created, but it is not even close to what it can be."

He also said Medtronic is focused on growing its presence in emerging markets, which is currently 16 percent of total revenue. In select countries, Medtronic is also doing local manufacturing and engineering in anticipation of more physicians using the company's technology.


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