Medical technology company, Smith & Nephew (LSE: SN,NYSE: SNN), has today announced improvements to its NAVIO handheld robotic surgical system and investments that establish its multi-asset digital surgery and robotic ecosystem.
“Smith & Nephew is making a long-term commitment to bring together advanced technologies in robotics, digital surgery, and machine learning as well as augmented reality to empower surgeons and improve clinical outcomes. Over time these digital surgery and robotic assets will be deployed across all surgical specialities and healthcare settings where Smith & Nephew’s operates, starting with orthopaedic reconstruction and sports medicine.” Said, Namal Nawana, CEO.
NAVIO™ Surgical System
In final stages of development, Smith & Nephew’s pioneering NAVIO handheld robotic surgical system will be improved with NAVIO 7.0. The new version is being designed to enhance the surgeon experience through an improved, more intuitive interface, additional surgical preferences, and streamlined workflow which aims to reduce surgery time over the current version.
It will also bring the ANTHEM Total Knee System for Emerging Markets onto NAVIO. The NAVIO 7.0 demo is on show on Smith & Nephew’s booth at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Annual Meeting 2019 (Las Vegas March 13-15), alongside a new virtual reality training module for robotics-assisted surgery developed for NAVIO by Osso VR.
NAVIO 7.0 software has not been cleared by the FDA for distribution in the United States and is not yet commercially available, but is planned for the second half of 2019.
Next generation robot announced
Development of Smith & Nephew’s next generation surgical robotics platform is planned to be complete in late 2019, ahead of full commercial release in 2020. The platform dramatically reduces the physical footprint, enabling it to be incorporated into Smith & Nephew’s sports medicine tower. This, together with its CT-free technology, makes it an ideal solution for all surgical settings, including ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). Advances in surgical workflows, data acquisition and connectivity will ensure the platform is faster again than NAVIO 7.0, further reducing procedure times.
In addition, our R&D programme is focused on a number of options to broaden this platform for customers, including incorporating augmented reality, stand-alone robotic arms and machine learning technologies.
Design and development partnership with Brainlab
Smith & Nephew has agreed to purchase the Brainlab Orthopaedic Joint Reconstruction business used in over 500 accounts worldwide. Smith & Nephew has also acquired the Brainlab associated salesforce, which will be integrated into its own robotics commercial organisation, supporting the acceleration of this business, and certain other intangible assets. By working together, the companies will provide an exciting upgrade path with more capabilities for both Brainlab and Smith & Nephew customers. Smith & Nephew’s initial priority will be to install the Brainlab hip software onto NAVIO 7.0 and to upgrade current NAVIO users to the new platform.
Smith & Nephew and Brainlab will also collaborate on developing additional applications, including digital surgery among others, to enhance the functionality of Smith & Nephew’s advanced automation platform and expand its clinical indications. Work will initially be focused on orthopaedic reconstruction and sports medicine, with opportunities to expand into other surgical specialities thereafter. The platform will be compatible with the Brainlab digital operating room offering, allowing the sharing of data to improve future clinical practice, and will support augmented reality as adoption advances.
Skip Kiil, President of Orthopaedics at Smith & Nephew, said:
“The near term commercial opportunities with the innovation of our robotics platform and the integration of the Brainlab hip software are very compelling. Not to mention, the strong collaboration on design and development of next generation technology that will bring our customers more differentiated advanced surgical capabilities. We’re excited to work together with Brainlab to bring the future of the digitally integrated O.R. to life and into the hands of surgeons world-wide.”
New R&D and medical education center
Smith & Nephew also announces that it is opening a world-class R&D and medical education training facility for robotics in Pittsburgh, U.S, the home of its robotics business. This will triple its floor space for robotics and Smith & Nephew is recruiting to support its expansion with details of current opportunities available on the careers section of its website.
The commercial terms of the innovation partnership with and acquisition from Brainlab and the lease of the new facility in Pittsburgh have not been disclosed.