Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and Google ($GOOG) have partnered to create new robotic-assisted surgical platforms. The deal is the latest example of Google working with a major life sciences company to make a significant technological advance. Last summer, it partnered with Novartis’ ($NVS) Alcon unit to develop smart contact lenses to monitor glucose levels and correct vision in presbyopia patients.
Robotic surgery has made enormous strides in recent years as it is more commonly used in specialized, minimally invasive surgeries using equipment from makers such as Intuitive Surgical ($ISRG) and Stryker ($SYK). But cost and safety have proven early stumbling blocks–something J&J and Google hope to improve on.