Ethicon, the medical device company owned by healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson, has reached an agreement with Google to develop surgical robots. The robots would use artificial intelligence to help surgeons in the performance of relatively minor operations with the hope that robotic precision would minimize the risks of bleeding, scarring, and other potential complications. Leading the development of this technology is the life-sciences department of Google X labs, the company’s vast research division in charge of its self-driving cars program, among a wide variety of cutting-edge projects.
Gary Pruden, chairman of the global surgery group at Johnson & Johnson, said,
We’re early in the partnership with Google life sciences. I would certainly say we have a multigenerational plan for the development for a fully capable product to bring to the market.
Google hopes to improve the capabilities of robotic “surgeons” using artificial intelligence technologies it has developed for its self-driving cars program, such as image analysis and machine vision. This technology could provide surgeons the ability to view details that the naked eye may be unable to discern. Ethicon will provide the robotic control systems, while Google will provide the software, data analysis capability, and vision.
Read more here – “Google Teams Up with Health Firm to Develop AI Surgical Robots,” (Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian)