Hugo Medtronic team “awaits phone call” for approval in Europe

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Medtronic Hugo Robot-Assisted Surgery System [Image courtesy of Medtronic]

It looks like the European approval of Medtronic’s robot-assisted soft tissue surgery system, Hugo, could happen overnight.

“We are sitting at the end of our chair waiting for the phone call indicating that the product will be approved,” said Rob ten Hoedt, executive vice president and president of EMEA, Medtronic on Friday.

Medtronic (NYSE: MDT), based in Fridley, Minnesota, has filed for European approval in March, starting a process that takes about six to nine months. Medtronic is now “in the shooting range,” ten Hoedt said.

“The launch is going very, very well and it is now awaiting approval,” he said.

Medtronic sought initial European approval for gynecology and urology procedures (estimated by Ten Hoedts to be around 54% of the market), likely followed by applications for abdominal and colorectal procedures, approvals that would take another six to nine months.

Rob ten Hoedt, Executive Vice President of Medtronic and President EMEA

Rob ten Hoedt, Executive Vice President of Medtronic and President EMEA [Photo courtesy Pixium Vision]

Medtronic is building sales, service and education teams ahead of initial approval and will begin rolling Hugo across Western Europe, where Medtronic has already signed “betting on us” customers before obtaining CE marking, he said.

Early adopters of the first wave of customers include users of Intuitive’s Da Vinci robots who want to add one or two Hugo devices to their mix, but also new accounts with “very well-known robotics users and industry leaders. key views of the region, ”says Ten Hoedt.

Medtronic executives have bet on Hugo as one of his main opportunities to start new multi-billion dollar companies. They hope that the Hugo system can increase sales in its other business units, in the same way that Medtronic enters into partnership agreements with health systems.

“The robot puts it on steroids. … Our surgical sales organization, in conjunction with our strategic accounts organization and the robotics team, work hand in hand to ensure that one opens the door to the other and allows the signing of a big one. contract, ”ten Hoedt said. . “It’s not just about selling a robot. It is about joining forces with large hospital systems on the future of surgery. And the robot, in combination with the strategic management of the accounts and the services we provide and our surgical product footprint, this combination should give us – must give us – a unique position compared to the existing competitor of robots, but it should also allow us to make inroads into that market and start increasing the number of surgical robotic surgeries from what it is today, 2% or 3%, to a much larger number.

Ten Hoedt made the remarks at the Bank of America Global Healthcare Conference, where he also warned of hospital worker burnout as a headwind for medical device manufacturers.

In late August, Bob White, President of the Surgical Medical Products Portfolio, provided an update on Medtronic’s efforts towards regulatory approval in the United States.

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