UNITED KINGDOM – Smith+Nephew has partnered with Rods&Cones to provide smart surgery glasses and digital remote assistance to support surgeons during surgical procedures.

The offering was initially used in the United Kingdom to support the National Health Service (NHS) and other customers.

Smith+Nephew plans to increase its ability to offer technical support for the safe and effective use of its products at the right time from anywhere in the world.

Smith+Nephew said the increased complexity of surgery, the advancement of technologies and the need for productivity and efficiency is enabled by ensuring a specialist is available remotely to give the best possible expertise exactly when it’s needed but in the least disruptive way.

I am delighted that we have agreed to partner with one of the most innovative companies in the area of remote surgical support,” Smith+Nephew UKI/Nordics region Managing Director Simon Tarry said in a news release.

This new partnership will enable the team to deliver the highest possible expertise exactly when its customers and patients need it.

Rods&Cones has also been working with the orthopedic surgery company Pixee Medical, which has been developing its own smart glasses solution for total knee replacements.

Through its partnership with Rods&Cones, a maker of smart surgical classes and remote surgical offerings, Smith+Nephew expects to scale its remote support capability for customers to enable connectivity with specialist surgeons during minimally invasive surgery.

Through the multi-year contract with Rods&Cones, the firm can expand its capacity to provide clients with remote support, allowing for communication with specialized surgeons during minimally invasive surgery.

The MIS (Minimal Invasive Surgery) Kit links to the Rods&Cones Remote Expert interface to enable users to follow and participate in surgeries as if they were present in the operating room.

Rods&Cones CEO and founding partner Bruno Dheedene said: “We are thrilled to work with such a great company as Smith+Nephew.

The achievements they have made in the MedTech industry, especially within the sphere of repair, regeneration and replacement of soft and hard tissue has been awe-inspiring.”

According to the Amsterdam-based Rods&Cones, by connecting representatives with surgeons and nurses remotely, companies can observe three times as many procedures per day.

The system can also be used by medical students to get an up-close look at a live operation.

The developer previously began working with Medtronic in 2019 and 2020, including during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide the headset to a select number of hospitals in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, with an eye toward maintaining a presence during cardiovascular procedures.

Rods&Cones has also been working with the orthopedic surgery company Pixee Medical, which has been developing its own smart glasses solution for total knee replacements.

Using an augmented reality program linked with the headset’s cameras, Pixee’s Knee+ system helps the surgeon correctly align their instruments, while measuring and adjusting the angles of the joint in real-time.

The high-tech approach was cleared by the FDA in April 2021, while Rods&Cones aims to provide remote connectivity on top of that.

Like in many areas of life, the COVID-19 pandemic forced surgeons and device sales representatives to find a way to carry on in a safer, socially distant manner.

In 2020, other companies offering digital connections for the operating room saw opportunities to grow – such as Avail Medsystems, which raised US$100 million in a venture capital round that year for its approach, which featured a dedicated, portable console with remote-controlled cameras on robotic arms.

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