Spine research, robotic sales & more: 5 updates from Medtronic in Q1

Spinal Tech

Five key developments from Medtronic in the first quarter:

1. Medtronic is collaborating with the University of Louisville (Ky.) to study epidural stimulation for the treatment of spinal cord injury. The National Institutes of Health provided a $7.8 million grant, which will be used to develop technology to improve control of locomotor and bladder function.

2. The company's capital equipment sales reached pre-pandemic levels in the company's third-quarter fiscal year 2021 report. Medtronic reported an uptick in hospitals investing in capital equipment, with record numbers of Mazor robot sales, and near-record sales of its navigation and O-arm imaging systems. 

3. Third-quarter fiscal year cranial and spinal technology revenue decreased 3.2 percent year over year to $1.1 billion. Medtronic reported mid-single-digit declines in spine revenue, with global revenue decreasing 0.8 percent to $7.8 billion.

4. Former Walmart executive Greg Smith will lead Medtronic's global operations and supply chain, beginning April 5. Mr. Smith developed and implemented Walmart's supply chain strategy to reduce costs and improve the working environment.

5. In January, spine surgeons in the U.S. performed the first procedures with the Midas Rex high-speed drills, which are integrated into Medtronic's Mazor spine robot. The drills are designed to improve precision, disc-prep access and navigation, according to the company.

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