Surgical robotics company Intuitive Surgical’s (NASDAQ:ISRG) near-monopoly is facing a threat from two of America’s most powerful companies, Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). The corporate giants are collaborating in a new company called Verb Surgical, which has its sights set on introducing a safer, more cost-effective, and (here’s the truly exciting part) smarter surgical robot.
Fortunately for Intuitive Surgical, the impact from this competitive threat could be diluted since there should be room for multiple players in this market. Surgical robotics is growing annually in the mid single digits and is expected to reach $20 billion by 2020. The surgical industry accounts for $500 billion of current healthcare spending, and just 5%-10% of these surgeries use robots. As the industry grows, there should be plenty of space for expansion of robotics into new facilities and wider surgical procedures, opening up the market to multiple players.