Google’s Verily is Developing Surgical Robots

Written by prodigitalweb


Verily Life Sciences – Comprehensive Surgical Solution Platform

Verily Life Sciences, earlier known as Google Life Sciences has amalgamated with Johnson & Johnson medical devices subsidiary Ethicon in order to form Verb Surgical Inc. and the new company has its focus in developing a comprehensive surgical solution platform. This would be integrating leading-edge robotic abilities and best-in-class medical device technology for operating room professionals. The company’s earlier projects include glucose-checking contact lenses, disease-detecting nanoparticles and The Baseline Study which strives to build a genetic profile of a perfectly healthy human.

Andrew Conrad, CEO of Verily informed sources that though Verb Surgical represented the first partnership of Alphabet’s subsidiary, it would not be the last. He had commented that `they expect to work closely with pharma, biotech, medical device as well as diagnostic companies, patient advocacy groups and academic researchers in various ways for a long time’. Though it is not known what Verb Surgical would be developing, there seems to be some suggestion that the objective would be on robot assisted technologies to be controlled by human doctors for delicate surgical processes.

Meaningful Progress on Robotics Platform

While Johnson & Johnson seems to be an old hand at medical devices, Verily intends to contribute Google’s massive expertise in machine learning as well as advanced image process in making the robots smarter. The development of the company, announced in March, is the culmination of a joint effort between Verily and the pharmaceutical giant.


Robot assisted surgery is presently an advanced form of technical development in both autonomous as well as assistive devices for tasks like replacing traditional surgical tools and human hands to hold them in position for long periods enabling expert surgeons to function remotely through telemanipulation or providing the doctors with fine control over minimally invasive machine assisted techniques.

Worldwide chairman of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices, Gary Pruden, said that, the Ethicon team which will be developing the surgical instruments for Verb’s robotics-assisted platform `has already made meaningful progress on the robotics platform that is being developed for application across a host of surgical specialities’.

Verb Surgical Launch – A Secret

Taking into consideration most of other Google Life Sciences related announcements, the launch of Verb Surgical seems to be quite secretive since few details are available. As per the press release announcing Verb, the company would be based in the hometown of Googleat Mountain View, California. Though it has been confirmed that Johnson & Johnson and Verily do have an equity investment in Verb Surgical, extra financial terms have not been revealed.

J&J as well as Verily inform that they have contributed intellectual property, research and development together with other resources inclusive of managerial and surgical expertise to Verb Surgical. As per the spokeswomen from Verily, more than hundred people have been employed to work at Verb Surgical and the number would continue to increase.

Scott Huennekens, the former president of a heart imaging company, known as Volcano Corporation would lead Verb as CEO and Pablo E. Garcia Kilroy, an old employee of SRI International, which was the research institute that gave birth to Apple’s Siri, would become the vice president of research and technology of Verb Surgical while Dave Scott, the recent vice president of R&D at Abbot Medical Optics would be leading the company’s engineering as well as product developments efforts.


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