Late last year, Verb Surgical, a joint venture between Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) and Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division was formed with the intent to change the paradigm of robotic surgery established by pioneers like Intuitive Surgical.
The entrance of Google (now Alphabet) into any industry is noteworthy, and since March 2015, when the initial announcement was made, a flurry of articles has tried to divine from press releases, J&J’s earnings calls, and interviews with former Google scientists, what exactly Verb Surgical has set out to do.
The name, by the way, very deliberately plays on the idea of action. Or actions that matter and empower surgeons, to be more precise.
Now, in a phone interview with Verb Surgical’s CEO Scott Huennekens, previously the CEO of Volcano Corp., a picture begins to emerge about the Mountain View, CA, company. Although many details are missing, it’s clear that Verb is seeking not only to rewrite the rules of robotic surgery, but also alter the very definition of what surgery has come to mean.