Verily AH_1

Robot Surgeons? Yes, That’s In Alphabet’s Wheelhouse

December 16, 2015 - Written By Daniel Fuller

Google Life Sciences, or Verily as they’re now known, are know for taking on strange, forbidding and otherwise unconventional projects in the name of furthering human health. Their newest exploit is to be performed hand in hand with new partners Johnson & Johnson, makers of things like Lysol and baby shampoo. Their medical device arm, Ethicon, is taking the plunge along with Verily. This new joint venture has nothing to do with cleaning chemicals, however. The two companies are putting their heads together to create robots that will help to make surgery easier, cheaper and better. Known as Verb Surgical, Inc., this new company is headed up by Scott Huennekens, a leader with over twenty years’ experience in the field of medical technology.

Verb Surgical’s main goal is to work with hospitals and surgeons to create comprehensive solutions that will make the operating room a friendlier, easier and less stressful place for surgeon and patient alike. New tools will be designed using state of the art robotics technology to give surgeons the edge they need to make minimally invasive surgeries more accessible and make better outcomes and more efficiency a reality. This isn’t set to happen overnight, of course. No exact date has been announced for even a tentative project start, with the press release only citing “the coming years” as a timeline.

The new venture is supported by resources and capital from Verily, Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson’s research arm. Verily and Ethicon have both allowed Verb to use their intellectual properties and ideas for research and development, giving Verb a wealth of resources that, in theory, should allow them to stay at the cutting edge of the field of surgical tech. So far, there are no specific plans for what projects to pursue, what areas to begin development for or what problems to address in the field of surgery. Huennekens is excited to take the helm of the project, citing future advancements that should be able to improve the standard of patient care worldwide. This indicates that Verb most likely plans to not only utilize new and expensive technology at the top of the line, but also to help bring down the cost of care, making medical procedures and care more accessible for all.