Johnson & Johnson, Google to advance robotic surgery

surgical robot

Johnson & Johnson-owned Ethicon entered into a strategic collaboration with Google’s Life Sciences team, Google X, to advance surgical robotics for the benefit of surgeons, patients and health care systems.

The two companies will bring together capabilities, intellectual property and expertise to create a robotic-assisted surgical platform capable of integrating advanced technologies to improve health care delivery in the operating room. The collaboration was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation in California.

Robotic-assisted surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery that gives surgeons greater control, access and accuracy during the surgical procedure while minimizing trauma and scarring for patients, thus enabling accelerated post-surgical healing. The companies seek to develop new robotic tools and capabilities for surgeons and operating room professionals that integrate best-in-class medical device technology with leading-edge robotic systems, imaging and data analytics.

“For more than 60 years, Ethicon has developed products and technologies that have transformed the way surgery is done,” said Gary Pruden, Worldwide Chairman, Global Surgery Group, Johnson & Johnson. “This collaboration with Google is another important step in our commitment to advancing surgical care, and together, we aim to put the best science, technology and surgical know-how in the hands of medical teams around the world.”

The closing of the transaction is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2015. Financial terms were not disclosed.

In December 2013, Google acquired robots engineering company Boston Dynamics, an MIT spinoff working on projects for the military.