Stryker (NYSE:SYK) is taking its time getting the Mako robot-assisted Triathlon total knee device on the market, despite having won FDA approval last August.
Admitting that the integration of Mako after the $1.7 billion acquisition in December 2013 was “messy,” CEO Kevin Lobo said Stryker isn’t planning to launch the total knee offering until 2017.
“Stryker has never done this before,” he told MDDI. “We’ve never had a product approved, and then told the sales force, ‘You have to wait a year.’ We’ve never told our customers, ‘You have to wait a year.’”
Hoping to avoid the problems Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Stryker ran into with its surgical navigation system, which caught on only in Australia, Lobo said the company is running a pair of clinical trials to study how surgeons use the robot-assisted surgery platform, he told the website.
“We’re trying to figure what’s the training protocol for somebody who has never used a robot, and what’s the training protocol for someone who already has some robotic experience,” Lobo explained. “We want to set the right expectation.”