Medtronic aims to transform spine from an art to a science with robotic, AI tech

Spinal Tech

Medtronic reported spine and biologics revenue was up 40 percent in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, with projections for sustained growth.

Medtronic Chair and CEO Geoffrey Martha said during a May 27 earnings call that the company's spine robotics sales outpaced its competitors, and he expects that trend to continue. The company's StealthStation navigation system and O-arm imaging systems hit record sales last quarter as well, further boosting spine offerings.

But that isn't the only way he's measuring success. He said the surgeon feedback on Medtronic's spinal robot has hit an inflection point.

"[Surgeons] are now talking about the outcomes that they're getting from the robot," he said, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha. "It's the planning and precision of the planning they're using to get the right alignment."

Last year, Medtronic acquired Medicrea, a device company with artificial intelligence planning and outcomes tracking tools, which are being integrated into Medtronic's spinal offerings. Mr. Martha said the company's strategy of bringing together a digital ecosystem of enabling technologies in spine is working.

"We are separating ourselves from the pack and really getting closer to what our ultimate goal here is: to transform spine surgery from the art it is today to a science, and then demonstrate it with outcomes," said Mr. Martha.

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