Greatbatch expands deal with wireless tech company to 'untether' medical devices

Greatbatch's Declan Smyth

Greatbatch ($GB) and wireless power company WiTricity like working together so much, they're sweetening the deal. The companies struck an expanded agreement to bring WiTricity's wireless tech to a greater number of medical devices and systems.

Under the terms of the new deal, Frisco, TX-based Greatbatch will license WiTricity's intellectual property (IP) to develop wireless charging and power systems for a variety of medical devices, including implants and interventional products, the companies said in a statement. Greatbatch and WiTricity struck an agreement in 2015 that allowed Greatbatch to create wireless power transfer tools for surgical and portable medical equipment.

"Medical devices and systems are primed for a revolution, and wireless power transfer will allow designers to develop smaller, safer, easier to use and more reliable solutions for physicians and patients," Declan Smyth, Greatbatch's president of Advanced Surgical, Orthopedics and Power Solutions, said in a statement. "Our continued efforts with WiTricity will expand our innovation in wireless power transfer for the medical device industry and we're looking forward to leading the way in this important market segment."

The companies' efforts come at a critical moment. More hospitals are looking for wireless technology that facilitates surgeries and other inpatient procedures. There are more than 51 million surgeries in the U.S. each year, and operating rooms are "frequently challenged" by more clunky technology that can hamper procedures, WiTricity and Greatbatch said. A "significant opportunity exists to untether the healthcare space for physicians and their patients, enabling therapy delivery with fewer limitations," the companies said.

Meanwhile, Greatbatch is keeping busy on the M&A circuit after spinning off its neurostimulation unit last year. In August, the company said it would shell out $1.73 billion for Lake Region Medical to get its hands on the devicemaker's surgical, vascular and interventional cardiology products.

Greatbatch had high hopes for the deal. The buy will result in "considerable operating synergies resulting in sustained profitable growth," Greatbatch CFO Michael Dinkins said in a statement.

- read the statement

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