Are Surgical Robots the Future or Just a Fad?

Surgical robots dominated the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons as Stryker launched its highly anticipated Mako total knee application, Smith & Nephew showed off a prototype of its Navio total knee application (with a projected launch of mid-2017), and Zimmer Biomet announced an aggressive timetable for launching its Rosa total knee application within the next 18 months.

All the hype surrounding robotics begs the question, do these robots represent the future standard of care in orthopedics, or are they just a fad?

“We think robotics are real and here to stay,” said Mike Matson, an analyst with Needham & Co. “But the tougher question is, just how big will it get?”

Matson said he does not expect robotics to break out of its niche and become the standard of care. He also predicted that adoption of surgical robots could be slower than some investors are anticipating.

“Has robotics addressed the difficulties of navigation (ease of use, learning curve, added time, etc)? We’re not convinced that it has, at least in its current form,” Matson said.

On the other hand, Matson said patients seem to have an easier time grasping the concept of robotics than navigation, which should make consumer marketing more effective. Still, he added, “we’re not sure that this is enough to make robotics the standard of care.”

By Amanda Pedersen | Qmed

Image Credit: Zimmer Biomet

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About Peter Coffaro 1091 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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