Johnson & Johnson Medical Device
Companies acquire Orthotaxy

Johnson & Johnson takes aim at robotic surgery market

February 21, 2018
by John R. Fischer, Staff Reporter
Johnson & Johnson Medical Device Companies has acquired Orthotaxy, a developer of software-enabled surgery technology, as part of a plan to develop a robotic-assisted surgical platform for a variety of care settings in orthopedics.

The purchase provides Johnson & Johnson access to Orthotaxy’s robotic-assisted surgery solution, a proprietary technology in early stage development for total and partial knee replacement, with the former intending to broaden its application for a range of orthopedic procedures and market it as a cost-effective, time-efficient and user-friendly product.

“Health care providers and surgeons are shifting from volume to value-based care and need technologies and solutions that help reduce costs, improve outcomes and enhance patient satisfaction,” Ciro Romer, company group chair of Johnson & Johnson’s orthopedic's business, DePuy Synthes, told HCB News. “In order for robotic-assisted surgery to continue to play a long-term role in this new environment, the technology must evolve from being a costly surgical add-on into part of a holistic platform that supports customers and patients throughout the episode of care.”

The solution is one in a series of investments taken up by Johnson & Johnson as part of its digital holistic strategy to offer one complete solution that adds value to surgeons and health care systems.

The New Jersey-based enterprise recently introduced its Health Partner Platform for connecting patients to health care teams to prepare them physically, mentally and emotionally for surgery, and its TruMatch Personalized Solutions, which include surgical planning software and patient-specific guides for knee replacement.

It also has invested in a partnership between DePuy Synthes and JointPoint, to co-market a proprietary platform equipped to provide noninvasive computer navigation, presurgical digital templating, case planning and feedback during total hip replacement surgeries.

Romer says the goal is to develop Orthotaxy’s technology to support increased OR efficiency, reduce surgical steps, enhance productivity and alleviate the burden on surgeons and staff during procedures.

“The technology is in early-stage development, and we are working to make the technology available to surgeons and their patients as early as possible, which will be in the next couple of years,” said Romer. “The company will continue to develop and scale the platform, and work to seek the necessary regulatory clearances and support to bring the technology to market.”

Clearance or approval for promotion has not yet taken place. The technology is currently not for sale or in clinical use.

Financial terms were not disclosed.