Where Tech Meets Health

From the Blog

Surgical Robotics Represents New Efficiencies in Healthcare, Regional Investment

The road to better health outcomes begins with improved access to cutting-edge medical technologies. So it is perhaps fitting that Smith+Nephew, a global medical technology company, is expanding its workforce at a Pittsburgh-based R&D hub that has grown out of a startup originally named after the region’s colored-coded road belts.

UK-based Smith+Nephew acquired Blue Belt Technologies, named after the innermost circle in Pittsburgh’s road system, in 2016. Founded as an outgrowth of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, Blue Belt was home to one of the industry’s deepest knowledge banks of clinical, robotics-assisted orthopedic surgery.

In the six years since the acquisition, Smith+Nephew has more than tripled the hub’s headcount from 60 to 200-plus employees. A recent ribbon-cutting in Pittsburgh’s Strip District officially opened the company’s new $20 million R&D facility, just blocks away from Blue Belt’s more humble original home.

Paul Seltman, Smith+Nephew’s senior vice president, global public policy & government affairs, credits the company’s growth in part to the thriving robotics and life sciences ecosystem that the Pittsburgh region has cultivated. And not only does the new facility represent investment in the region’s economy, it also enhances the value of the local healthcare system, Seltman notes. Smith+Nephew’s CORI Surgical System provides highly sophisticated surgical navigation with the potential to transform orthopedic surgeries.

Such solutions help increase cost efficiency for both healthcare providers and patients, he adds.

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Pittsburgh to Host Three-Day International Summit on Clean Energy

Energy ministers from 31 nations responsible for the majority of the world’s greenhouse gases will convene in Pittsburgh next September to collaborate on strategies to advance clean energy and fight climate change. 

The three-day Clean Energy Ministerial and the ministerial for Mission Innovation will be held Sept. 21-23, 2022. 

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said the region “exemplifies how a legacy energy and industrial-development economy can be transformed into a technology and innovation powerhouse.” 

The meetings “represent an opportunity to lock in climate commitments through big bets on innovation that empower an energy transition by 2050 — averting the worst effects of climate change and supercharging economic opportunities for the global workforce,” Granholm added.

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“We will lean into our experience, our mission, and our values to deliver a technology that will save lives that will make transportation more dependable … we will put Aurora’s mark on the world’s roads.”

Chris Urmson, co-founder and CEO of Pittsburgh-headquartered Aurora
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Medical Robotics Offers Economic Growth, Precision in Surgeries