Google search for big new industries for its technology has led it to the operating room.
The search giant is pooling resources and intellectual property with Johnson & Johnson to develop robots to assist surgeons. No financial terms were disclosed. J&J said in a statement that the deal is expected to close in the second quarter and has to be reviewed by antitrust authorities.
Google reckons it can use its machine-vision and image-analysis software to help surgeons see better as they operate or make it easier for them to get information that’s relevant to the surgery.
The focus is on so-called minimally-invasive surgery, which uses tools and other technology to reduce scarring, blood loss, pain and speed recovery times. Surgeons are increasingly using robotics and special cameras to control some of these tools and guide them to the right areas inside the body.