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Medtronic merges surgical robotics, surgical innovations units

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | March 28, 2023
Business Affairs Operating Room
Medtronic has merged together its surgical robotics and surgical innovations units into a single entity.
Medtronic has restructured its surgical robotics and surgical innovations operating businesses under one umbrella, its surgical operating unit.

The company announced the news in an update on its website, saying the merger was completed on February 1 and would create a “legacy of surgical devices and the new robotic-assisted surgery technology to redefine the future of surgery."

Former Surgical Robotics president Mike Marinaro was appointed to head the new division, with the company aiming for the new unit to become a bigger competitor in the soft-tissue surgical robotics space, especially in the U.S., against Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci system, according to Mass Device, which broke the story.
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Additionally, it said that it would not close its surgical robotics facilities in Colorado and Connecticut.

Robotic Surgery and Surgical Innovations were two of 20 operating units created in 2021 when Medtronic restructured itself, with Surgical Innovations being the largest and one of three, slower-growing units that made up half the company's sales last year, reported Medtech Dive. Surgical Robotics was one of five fast-growing units that will increase sales over the next few years, according to Medtronic.

In the past, the robotic operating unit faced supply chain and manufacturing issues in developing its Hugo robotic-assisted surgery system, but Medtronic is now enrolling patients in clinical trials, and gained regulatory approvals for the solution in the EU, Canada, and Japan.

Designed to reduce total ownership cost and optimize system utilization, the solution has flexible configurations to fit into OR spaces; improves performance from anywhere with the company's Touch Surgery Enterprise; and uses the same technology across open, laparascopic and robotic-assisted surgery procedures.

CFO Karen Parkhill told investors in early March that surgeons tell the company that its technology is a “little sharper, brighter than our competition,” and that it is “really well positioned” to grow as the number of robotic procedures increase, reported Seeking Alpha.

While the company has made no mention of related job cuts, it has said it is looking to make “significant expense reductions” before the end of its fiscal year in April and recently offered early retirement incentives to avoid layoffs and associated severance reductions, unemployment, and legal costs.

Based in Dublin, Ireland, the company employs 95,000 people worldwide, according to its last fiscal year report.

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