Moody's: Robotics to expand rapidly in orthopedics — Stryker, Medtronic to benefit

Spinal Tech

Moody's expects robotics to continue expanding in orthopedics and spine, according to the firm's Healthcare Quarterly.

"We expect that the use of robotic-assisted surgeries will continue to expand rapidly, benefiting companies with leading positions in the field," states the report. Stryker's Mako robotics platform for knee and hip surgery, as well as Medtronic's Mazor for spinal surgery are both key robotic platforms to watch.

"Stryker is the leader in the use of robotics for knee and hip replacements, and we believe that the Mako platform has enabled Stryker to gain share. Medtronic, meanwhile, recently closed its acquisition of Mazor Robotics, which provides guidance for robotic spine. When combined with Medtronic's leading position in spine implants, Mazor has the potential to accelerate Medtronic's growth in this category," according to the report.

Moody's also commented on mergers and acquisitions in the medical device space, naming both Stryker and Medtronic as among the most active companies. While most of the reported acquisitions were "tuck in" transactions, both struck big deals last year; Stryker acquired spine device company K2M for $1.4 billion, and Medtronic completed its acquisition of Mazor for $1.64 billion.

Moody's expects the consolidation to continue in 2019 at a similar pace to last year, and most will be "tuck ins."

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