(The Motley Fool) – Many industry experts believe that the robotic surgery market is on the cusp of a dramatic expansion. For example, a recent report from marketsandmarkets.com predicts that the market will grow from $4.9 billion in 2016 to nearly $13 billion by 2021. Naturally, a market of that size has attracted the attention of several companies that want to get in on the action.
However, only a few companies have succeeded in bringing a robotic surgery system to market thus far. Mazor Robotics (NASDAQ:MZOR) is one of those few businesses. The company currently boasts two surgical systems for sale — the Renaissance and Mazor X — both of which help surgeons perform spine and brain procedures. With a worldwide install base of more than 150 systems, Mazor has established itself as the lead husky in its field. But with lots of competition on the way, should investors be fearful?
Your first instinct might be to assume that Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) is the company’s main opponent, since it is the pioneer in the use of robots during surgery. However, Intuitive’s da Vinci is primarily designed for use in gynecological, urological, and general surgery procedures, not procedures involving bones. Since Mazor’s products are exclusively focused on fixing problems with the spine and brain, there actually isn’t any direct competition between the two — at least not yet.
Instead of Intuitive, Mazor’s investors need to keep their eyes trained on companies like Zimmer Biomet Holdings (NYSE:ZBH) and Globus Medical (NYSE:GMED), both of which are focused on developing robotic products that could be used for spine and brain surgeries. That’s a much more direct competitive threat.
Zimmer Biomet, in particular, made a big move into the space last year through its acquisition of MedTech SA. Medtech was the original developer of the ROSA robot, which is a robotic arm that has received regulatory approval in both the U.S. and EU for spine and brain surgeries. Just like Mazor’s products, ROSA is designed to help surgeons increase their accuracy and precision with screw and implant placement. So far, a few dozen ROSA systems have been sold and are actively being used.
By Brian Feroldi | The Motley Fool
Image Credit: Mazor Robotics