Did Medtronic accidentally release the name of their robotic surgery program?
Medtronic has done a great job of keeping a tight lid on their robotic surgery program.
Yes, investors know that Medtronic intends on launching a surgical robotic platform. Prior to the most recent earnings call, not much else was known.
During that call, Medtronic CEO, Omar Ishrak, did share that Medtronic intends to further their goal of moving procedures from open to MIS with the first-in-human use of their surgical robot system at the end of this fiscal year. Based on those comments, and the updated pipeline, it appears fiscal 2018 is a safe bet for Medtronic to launching the program.
Updated Medtronic Pipeline
What does this mean exactly?
The closest answer out there is a response on the earnings call from Bryan Hanson, EVP Medtronic Minimally Invasive Therapies Group (MITG).
"Well, obviously, we are pretty excited that we are in the fiscal year that we are going to get the first human use. So, that’s a positive. We are in the – what I would define is the pilot phase build right now and we are obviously working very diligently for verification and validation and also any things that we need to put together for regulatory submissions. So, we are heading down the path, feel confident with what we have today. Obviously, with this complex of a product, a lot can happen in the VNV process, but we are feeling good about where we stand today. In the strategy, it’s the same that I have mentioned before organization from a mission perspective is to move our patients from open surgery to MIS. This is another tool to ensure that we can do that. And we feel confident that once we have launched this, we are going to be in a unique position to bring more value than any other company in the world. We will be able to fully service open surgical procedures, traditional MIS procedures and robotic surgery as well as provide operational efficiency services within the operating room. So, we remain very confident in the product and we remain very confident in the overall strategy."
Aside from that information, there has not been much.
That is, until a perceptive community member noticed a job opening on LinkedIn for a U.S. Marketing Manager for the Hugo Robotic Surgery System.
Here is the job requisition on LinkedIn. The post has since been removed on the Medtronic career page so it has either been filled or Medtronic realized the name of the program would get out and had it removed.
Medtronic Hugo Marketing Manager Opening
Before you get too excited, anyone who has been part of a product launch in the medical device field understand this could be the codename for the project and not the commercial name.
Either way, for the robotic surgery enthusiasts, they will undoubtedly debate the worthiness of this name until Medtronic confirms or denies the name of their highly anticipated robotic surgery platform.