The mastermind behind the first wave of surgical robots unveils the next generation

Frederic H. Moll trained to become a surgeon, but never completed his residency at Virgina Mason Hospital in Seattle. Nonetheless, the doctor-by-training and humble “gadget guy,” has changed the face of medicine for good.

Moll, who is known as the “Bill Gates of robotics,” ushered in the first wave of surgical robotics in 1995 with his company Intuitive Surgical and its Da Vinci systems. That business is now publicly traded with a market value around $51 billion.

But Moll has started a new venture, his fourth, called Auris Health in Redwood City, California. There, he is creating a “second generation of robotic capability” for doctors, he says.

For the unfamiliar, Moll and his team built the Da Vinci surgical systems in the early 90s to help surgeons do their work in a minimally invasive way. These large robots translate the movements of a surgeon’s hands into smaller, more precise motions.

“That was complicated when we did it,” Moll says. “And the challenge was two-fold. We were pushing the capability of robotics as they existed at that time. And we were really fighting from a conceptual standpoint to convince people it was a reasonable idea to use robots in surgery.”

For all the tech advances he’s personally brought to medicine, Moll still doesn’t call himself an engineer.

By Lora Kolodny | CNBC

Image Credit: Auris Health


About Peter Coffaro 629 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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