Medtronic weighs in on GLP-1 impact for device manufacturers

Medtronic CEO and Chair Geoff Martha [Photo courtesy of Medtronic]

Medtronic is the latest — and largest — device manufacturer to weigh in on GLP-1 weight loss drugs and how they could affect demand for medical devices.

Medtronic Chair and CEO Geoff Martha today said the world’s largest medical device company doesn’t expect GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy to take a big bite out of its business.

While Medtronic said the drugs have had a “modest impact” on the bariatric surgery market, Medtronic thinks that is only temporary. The rate of decline in Medtronic’s bariatric business has already stabilized, Martha said on the company’s second-quarter earnings call, adding, “I think we see that coming back in the coming year.”

“We feel strongly that we don’t see these drugs impacting Medtronic’s growth, medium …

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November 2023 Medical Device Handbook: Breaking new ground in medtech


How Abbott designed the world’s first dual-chamber leadless pacemaker system

J&J used RWE for expanded indications — and you can, too

Moon Surgical thinks Maestro’s light touch can win the surgical robotics arms race

Breaking new ground in medtech

This year has brought a flurry of firsts from medical device manufacturers as they develop new and improved products despite continued supply chain and economic challenges.

These device innovations have been in the works for years, pushed forward by teams ranging from small startups to the world’s largest medtech companies — and all with help from outsourcing partners.

All of these industry players have come together once again in our latest edition of the Medical Design & Outsourcing Medical Device Handbook to offer uniquely relevant and actionable advice for device designers and engineers.

This edit…

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Why Stryker says GLP-1 weight loss drugs could boost joint replacements

Stryker says weight loss drugs could help obese patients slim down for knee and hip replacements. (Pictured is Stryker’s Triathlon Cementless knee.) [Image courtesy of Stryker]

Executives at Stryker, the world’s largest orthopedic device manufacturer, say they’re not afraid that GLP-1 weight loss drugs could hurt demand for joint replacement implants.

Instead, they see GLP-1 drugs — including Ozempic and Wegovy — as a neutral factor or perhaps even a slight positive. That’s because the drugs could help obese and near-obese patients slim down to qualify for knee and hip replacement surgery.

“We don’t anticipate the weight loss drug having a negative impact,” Lisa Kloes, the GM and VP of Stryker’s knee business, said in an interview with Medical Design & Outsourcing. “Actually, we think it’s going to help with implant volumes. There’s qu…

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Intuitive’s Kathryn Rieger on human factors design in surgical robotics

Kathryn Rieger, head of human factors and user research at Intuitive Surgical, explains how the surgical robotics developer approaches product design.

Intuitive Surgical Senior Director for Human Factors and User Research Kathryn Rieger [Photo courtesy of Intuitive]

Intuitive Surgical Senior Director for Human Factors and User Research Kathryn Rieger credits the Presto Hot Dogger for her career in medtech.

“If you Google it, you will see it is not a very well-designed product,” she recalls. “It was designed to cook six hotdogs in 60 seconds. Essentially, it had these big spikes that you impale the hotdogs onto [and it] was a circuit that you completed like a good old-fashioned science project to cook the hotdogs.”

So what’s the connection between meat-tech and medtech? Rieger found herself facing the frankfurter-frying contraption in her first day of “Bad Product Desig…

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The secret behind Intuitive’s surgical robotics success

Dr. Myriam Curet has been instrumental to Intuitive’s success in recent years. [Photo courtesy of Intuitive Surgical.]

Intuitive Surgical has pioneered robotic surgery since the 1990s, continuously driving innovation and collaboration through data to advance patient care.

Teamwork between surgeons and engineers has been a crucial factor behind Intuitive developing effective surgical platforms that solve real-world problems that surgeons face.

Multibillion-dollar companies including Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson — and smaller up-and-comers including CMR Surgical and Vicarious Surgical — have sought to take on Intuitive in the soft-tissue surgical robotics space in recent years, but Intuitive remains the dominant company. An important element of Intuitive’s continued success has been its ability to harness data, collaborate with surgeons, and innovate.

As a practicing surgeon who actively …

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Two technologies that will be huge for robotic surgery, per Intuitive’s Dave Rosa

Intuitive President Dave Rosa [Photo courtesy of Intuitive]

Intuitive Surgical President Dave Rosa says he doesn’t get too excited by the idea of better robotic surgery graspers or more flexible wrists.

Instead, Rosa identified two technological opportunities that are going to advance surgical robotics and minimally invasive surgery in a major way: improved visualization for surgeons and focal therapy.

“How can we help surgeons see more about what they’re doing? … That, to me, is a huge piece of the puzzle going forward that I’m really excited about,” Rosa said in an interview with DeviceTalks Editorial Director Tom Salemi for our Intuitive Talks podcast.

DeviceTalks West: Intuitive President Dave Rosa will give a keynote interview in Santa Clara, California on Oct. 19 

Improving visualization

The difference between the best and worst surgeons isn’t…

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Find solutions to your most demanding medtech problem at DeviceTalks West

Add some essentials to your toolbox with engineering expertise from our upcoming show in California.

Intuitive President Dave Rosa will give a keynote interview at DeviceTalks West 2023. [Photo courtesy of Intuitive]

In the medical device industry, stubborn problems can cost millions in development expenses and delay the introduction of new life-saving tools and technologies.

That’s why we build our DeviceTalks meetings as a forum where successful medical device engineers, manufacturers and market-builders can share their best practices, providing solutions that help clear hurdles, speed product development and potentially save lives.

DeviceTalks attendees leave our meeting with notebooks full of critical advice and pockets full of business cards. We’ll help fill both at DeviceTalks West, which takes place Oct. 18-19 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. You can view the full agenda on our…

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How surgical robotics leader Intuitive is growing in China

Intuitive Surgical SVP and Asia-Pacific (APAC) GM Glenn Vavoso [Photo courtesy of Intuitive Surgical]

China is the second-largest procedure market for Intuitive Surgical‘s da Vinci system and one of the fastest-growing markets for the surgical robotics developer.

But China’s been a tough country for medical device manufacturers due to the sales and supply chain challenges of COVID-19, the country’s volume-based procurement (VBP) policy, and home-grown competitors.

Glenn Vavoso, SVP and Asia-Pacific (APAC) GM at Intuitive Surgical — one of the world’s largest medical device companies – recently spoke with DeviceTalks Editorial Director Tom Salemi for the latest edition of Intuitive Talks.

DeviceTalks West: Intuitive President Dave Rosa will be a keynote speaker on Oct. 19

Here are just a few highlights from Vavoso on Intuitive’s experience and activities in Chin…

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Moon Surgical thinks Maestro’s light touch can win the surgical robotics arms race

A surgeon using the Moon Surgical Maestro surgical robotics system [Photo courtesy of Moon Surgical]

The Moon Surgical Maestro robotic surgery system faces some stiff competition — and the device developer plans to use that to its advantage.

In an interview with Medical Design & Outsourcing, Moon Surgical CEO Ann Osdoit and Chief Technology Officer David Noonan discussed the technology behind what they described as their system’s key benefit: the ability to collaborate with surgeons.

“We’ve built a collaborative robot, which is not necessarily what you typically see out there in the market,” Noonan said. “[Most] robot arms are extremely stiff. If you want to try and grab a hold of that and use it to manipulate it, you can’t because the payload and the stiffness is what’s needed to execute the task.”

But Maestro is designed to let surgeons directl…

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How surgical robotics safety systems prevent patient harm

The Medical Microinstruments Symani surgical robotics system [Photo courtesy of MMI]

Surgical robotics safety systems are likely on the mind of anyone going under the knife of these complex machines.

Reliability, biocompatibility and other standard medical device safety concerns still apply. But a few areas stand out in robotic-assisted surgery, said Mark Toland, CEO at surgical robotics developer Medical Microinstruments (MMI).

“Most of the safety elements that have been incorporated into robotics have really been driven off of the robot connecting to something in the hospital. … The FDA’s more focused in on cybersecurity and then, secondarily, user error,” he said

Before joining Italy-based MMI, Toland was president and CEO of Corindus Vascular Robotics, which he helped sell to Siemens for $1.1 billion in 2019. He recently explained how some robotic surgery safety systems…

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Medtech jobs: The world’s largest medical device companies are hiring

Medical device companies are trying to fill thousand of medtech jobs. [Photo by ijeab –]

The world’s largest medical device companies are still hiring for medtech jobs despite layoffs in tech and other industries.

Medtech developers — and medtech jobs — are resilient, with the industry’s COVID-19 pandemic performance only bolstering its recession-proof reputation.

That’s not to say there haven’t been job cuts in medtech, led by thousands of layoffs at Philips as it struggles with a massive recall of deadly respiratory devices. But most medical device manufacturers are still hiring, and in some cases they can’t attract enough candidates to fill every vacancy in a tight labor market.

Stryker, for example, grew to approximately 51,000 employees as of the end of 2022, increasing its headcount by nearly 11 percent last year. Boston Scientific reported nearl…

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Creo Medical inks collaboration agreement with Intuitive

Creo Medical Group (LON: CREO) announced today that it has signed a multi-year collaboration agreement with Intuitive to make certain Creo surgical technologies compatible with the surgical robotic giant’s systems.

The London exchange reacted by sending CREO shares up more than 4% to 100 pence apiece by the close of trading today. As of midday in New York, ISGR shares are up slightly to $221 apiece on the Nasdaq.

Based in the U.K., Creo is developing and commercializing a suite of electrosurgical medical devices. Its patented Kamaptive technology combines adaptive bipolar radiofrequency (RF) and super high-frequency microwave energy in the CROMA advanced energy platform. Kamaptive can dynamically adapt to patient tissue during procedures such as resection, dissection, coagulation and ablation of tissue, according to Creo.

The agreement with Intuitives outlines how the companies will conduct joint clinical studies and includes a number of milestone …

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