Medtronic plc (NYSE: MDT) is buying medical device business RF Surgical Systems Inc. for $235 million.

The Carlsbad, California-based target focuses on detecting and preventing surgical items, such as sponges, gauze or towels, from being left inside patients after surgery. RF's system uses a low radio frequency signal embedded in towels and other surgical items, that can be traced so the objects are not left behind. 

The idea behind the technology is to improve patient outcomes, one of the things health care providers are focused on now that the Affordable Care Act has been implemented.

Medtronic, a Dublin, Ireland-based medical technology business, plans to include RF in its minimally invasive technologies group. The company's other deals include the sale of patent rights for a heart-failure treatment to Capicor Therapeutics in October, and divestment of some medical instrument lines to Integra Life Sciences Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: IART) in September.

In the ACA age, medical technology businesses have been hot targets for dealmakers. Recent transactions include GTCR's investment in pharmacy technology business Rx30, in June, and FujiFilm Medical Systems USA's deal for health care archiving techbusiness TeraMedica. For more on the trend, see 5 Technologies that Drove Health Care M&A in 2014


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