International – Surgical Robotics Market Due for a Shake Up?

Intuitive Surgical has been dominant in surgical robotics for years now, but Medtronic and Verb both have systems that are on the horizon and will be in direct competition with the da Vinci, said Roger Smith, who follows the space closely.

For years, Intuitive has been recognized as the leader of the surgical robotics market. But there are more competitors on the horizon and the entry level for the surgical robotics’ market is far easier than it used to be.

Roger Smith, MD, the Chief Technology Officer for the Florida Hospital Nicholson Center, spoke with MD+DI about the state of the surgical robotics market and what could possibly lie ahead for the space.

“When you look at the volume of procedures that are conducted with devices that are considered robotic, probably 70% are conducted with da Vinci,” Smith, told MD+DI. “Whatever remains, is divided up among a lot of really small players that have a much smaller niche where you can’t do hundreds of thousands of cases per year like you could with da Vinci.”

He added, “in the technology space you have a lot people realizing the technologies necessary to build robots are more approachable than they have been in the last 10 years. This means that a lot of the necessary pieces are now in place and you can put a company together and put a device together that does something unique and it won’t cost you $500 million to do it. That’s how you end up with 57 companies in the [space].”

Two of the largest players with devices slated to come to the market are Dublin-based Medtronic, and Verb Surgical…