Medtronic builds AI spinal surgery business with 7th acquisition of 2020

Medical device giant Medtronic has purchased a French spinal surgery company that currently has more than 30 digital medicine products on the market in the U.S. and Europe.

Medicrea International amicably agreed to the buyout earlier this year. For Medtronic the move means a way to offer an integrated system incorporating AI-based surgical planning, personalized spinal implants and robotic surgery.

Medicrea’s solution in the space is “powered by predictive modeling and sophisticated algorithms that measure and digitally reconstruct a patient’s spine to its optimal profile,” Medtronic explains in an announcement.

Nasdaq notes the finalized purchase is Medtronic’s seventh this year. Prior acquisitions included a 3D-printed implant supplier, a surgical AI and digital health company, and a maker of robotic surgery guidance systems.

This latest deal’s completion puts Medicrea on the path to becoming a wholly owned Medtronic subsidiary.

Medtronic’s announcement includes a quote from Christopher Ames, MD, director of spinal tumor and spinal deformity surgery at UCSF Medical Center in California.

“We have entered the age of augmented intelligence in spinal surgery at the point of care,” Ames says. “Physicians will have augmented eyes through surgical navigation, augmented hands with robotics and, most importantly, augmented intelligence through full integration with machine intelligence impacting all aspects of the care pathway.”