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Medtronic to Acquire RF Surgical Systems

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 26 Jul 2015
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Image: The RF Assure Detection System X (Photo courtesy of RF Surgical Systems).
Image: The RF Assure Detection System X (Photo courtesy of RF Surgical Systems).
Medtronic (Dublin, Ireland) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire RF Surgical Systems (Carlsbad, CA, USA), developer of a detection system to prevent retained surgical sponges.

The acquisition, which is valued at approximately USD 235 million, is in line with Medtronic's “economic value” strategy of partnering with stakeholders in healthcare that deliver clinical and economic value to the healthcare system. After the purchase, Medtronic will report the RF Surgical business as part of its Surgical Solutions division within the Minimally Invasive Technologies Group. Additional terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The deal with Surgical Systems is the eighth since Medtronic announced the purchase of Covidien in June 2014.

“Patients are our priority. Improving patient safety and outcomes is our daily focus, which directly aligns with the RF Surgical technology, a simple and cost-effective solution to avoidable complications in surgical procedures,” said Chris Barry, senior vice president and president of the Surgical Innovations business, Minimally Invasive Therapies Group at Medtronic.

“We are pleased to be joining the Medtronic team as their long-standing commitment to patient safety closely aligns with RF Surgical,” said John Buhler, CEO of RF Surgical. “As we strive to make the RF Surgical technology the global standard of care, we look forward to the innovation opportunity afforded by our combined capabilities.”

The RF Surgical system is designed to be used as an adjunct to manual counting methods to help prevent such surgical sponge-related “never events.” The proprietary detection system uses a low radio frequency (RF) signal to track and detect surgical gauze, sponges and towels (embedded with a RF tag) through blood, dense tissue, and bone. The technology aims to reduce patient complications due to surgery, lessen unnecessary procedures, and increase efficiencies within the operating room.

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