Smith & Nephew will acquire Brainlab's orthopedic joint reconstruction business. Together, the companies plan to accelerate R&D and product commercialization in digital surgery and augmented reality.
Brainlab provides pre-op planning, intra-op navigation and tools for post-op evaluation and information sharing that are used in >40,000 cases annually in 500+ accounts worldwide. Smith & Nephew also gains access to cloud computing, tracking, augmented reality, robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, image fusion and anatomic segmentation.
The companies will develop applications in joint replacement and sports medicine, potentially expanding to other specialties later.
Smith & Nephew also gains Brainlab’s orthopedic salesforce, while Brainlab reaps the benefit of deploying its products to ambulatory surgical centers through the Smith & Nephew distribution network.
SNN noted that its initial priority will be installing Brainlab’s hip software onto NAVIO 7.0, the next version of the company’s handheld robotic surgical system, and upgrading current users to the new platform, supporting total and uni knee and total hip procedures. NAVIO 7.0 is expected to be commercially available in 2H19.
Further, SNN will also release a next-generation surgical robotics platform in 2020, which analysts note is based on Brainlab’s Cirq platform. The new offering would be faster and smaller than NAVIO, and future options could expand to incorporate augmented reality, standalone robotic arms and machine learning technologies.
In a separate announcement, SNN summarized product launches and investments that will establish its multi-asset digital surgery and robotic ecosystem, such as its plan to bring the ANTHEM Total Knee for Emerging Markets onto NAVIO, and the design of a virtual reality training module for NAVIO that was developed by Osso VR. Further, a dedicated R&D and education training facility for robotics will be opened in Pittsburgh, PA, tripling the company's floor space devoted to robotics.