British medtech giant Smith+Nephew chose a different path in the ortho surgical robotics space. One of its top robotics program leaders explains how it could make all the difference.
Faster, smaller and more accessible — those are the three descriptors that Sara Schneider uses to describe Smith+Nephew’s Cori robotic knee surgery system, which launched over the summer.
As the director of robotics program management at S+N, Schneider faced the challenge of making the design and engineering choices behind the company’s next-gen surgical robot.
The Cori robot is a big deal for Smith+Nephew because ortho surgical robotics is a hot area for medtech, even as the COVID-19 pandemic causes health systems to scale back elective procedures.
Stryker has enjoyed a great deal of success with its Mako robots, and Zimmer Biomet is seeking to compete with its Rosa systems. Smith+Nephew is making a bet with a system that isn’t the size of a mini-fridge with an arm, that doesn’t rely on pre-operative imaging, and that includes a handheld cutting tool that can fit a particular surgeon’s techniques.
“There’s more flexibility in the approach when you have that handheld piece that’s not anchored into this mammoth piece of equipment,” Schneider said.
She later added: “I think that the next few months, if not the next few years, will really show us how beneficial that technology is in the hands of surgeons.”
Image Credit: Smith+Nephew