What the NuVasive, Globus merger means for spine tech

Spinal Tech

Globus Medical and NuVasive's merger made waves in the spine industry. Now that the deal has closed, spine surgeons and investors are awaiting the company's next steps.

Both companies bolster spine platforms that could combine each other's technologies in the future. Globus Medical's ExcelsiusGPS navigation system continues to be adopted by surgeons, and NuVasive's artificial intelligence and augmented reality-powered Pulse platform surpassed 2,000 cases in February. 

However, there's also concern about tech company mergers and how it may limit innovation. Globus Medical and NuVasive's merger at one point was under scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission

"The largest companies in the spine space have little pressure to innovate, as they already control a large market share," Roland Kent, MD, of Axis Spine Center in Post Falls, Idaho, said about spine mergers this year. "It is my hope that the merger of smaller companies that when combined could rival the market share of the larger companies stimulates competition which in turn leads to increased innovation at that level. Unfortunately, often during the merger process itself, innovation is pushed to the side while managing the marriage of the entities. This can lead to a loss of company identity and can negatively affect the development of new technology in the short term."

Globus Medical and NuVasive's merger is teeming with new opportunities for innovation and improving patient care, but it'll ultimately be up to them for execution.

"The outcome is solely based on the heart of the companies," James Chappuis, MD, of Spine Center Atlanta, said. "If the coalescence of these companies leads to the prevention of attainable healthcare and devices as well as commodifying patients, then it will be at the detriment to the medtech consumers first and ultimately the mergers long term. However, if the mergers improve the accessibility and quality of patient care, these plans could be exciting."

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