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Google’s Verily Announces New Robotic Surgical Company

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Verily, formerly Google Life Sciences, has launched a new company called Verb Surgical in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson. Verb Surgical will be helping surgeons in the operating room by developing robots and surgical platforms. Google’s experience in image processing and machine learning, along with Johnson & Johnson’s history at medical devices, seem like a perfect fit to make robots smarter and more productive in the medical industry.

“Verb Surgical is the first time we’ve launched a new company with a partner,” Verily CEO Andrew Conrad told Wired. “We expect to work closely with pharma, biotech, medical device and diagnostic companies, patient advocacy groups, and academic researchers in different ways for a long time to come.”

The company will be located in Mountain View, California. Former president of the Volcano Corporation, Scott Huennekens, will run Verb Surgical as CEO. Pablo E. Garcia Kilroy, former employee of SRI International will be vice president of research and technology. Dave Scott, former vice president of R&D at Abbott Medical Optics, will be in charge of engineering and product development. To date, the company has already recruiting about 100 people, and that number is expected to grow.

“Our name speaks for itself,” Scott Huennekens said. “We are a company dedicated to action and to making a difference in people’s lives, in partnership with surgeons globally.”

In a press release, Verb Surgical “…aims to develop a comprehensive surgical solutions platform that will incorporate leading-edge robotic capabilities and best-in-class medical device technology for operating room professionals.”

Further details of the company are still sparse, reports The Verge. “The team has already made meaningful progress on the robotics platform,” said Gary Pruden, worldwide chairman at Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices, “which is being developed for application across a host of surgical specialties.” It remains to be seen whether the company plans to improve current operating room technologies or develop new technologies from scratch.

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