robotic assisted surgery
Stryker (NYSE:SYK) said today it launched the robotic-arm assisted total knee arthroplasty application for use with its Mako System, touting it as the 1st and only robotic technology which can be used for total knee, hip and partial knee replacement procedures.
The Kalamazoo, Mich.-based company’s Mako Total Knee utilizes both Stryker’s robotic platform and its Triathlon Total Knee System, guided through CT-based 3D modeling of bone anatomy which allows physicians to create personalized surgical plans for each patient’s anatomy. The system also allows for intra-operative planning and assists in bone resectioning procedures, Stryker said.
“We are excited to be leading the transformation of the orthopaedics industry with the commercial launch of the Mako Total Knee application. We believe that pairing our Mako robotic-arm technology with our market leading implant systems will enable surgeons to have an improved surgical experience,” Stryker joint replacement division prez Bill Huffnagle said in a press release.
Image Credit: MassDevice
The cutting-edge biocompatible near-infrared 3D tracking system used to guide the suturing in the first smart tissue autonomous robot (STAR) surgery has the potential to improve manual and robot-assisted surgery and interventions through unobstructed 3D visibility and enhanced accuracy, according to a study published in the March 2017 issue of IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. The study successfully demonstrates feasibility in live subjects (in-vivo) and demonstrates 3D tracking of tissue and surgical tools with millimeter accuracy in ex-vivo tests. More accurate and consistent suturing helps reduce leakage, which can improve surgical outcomes.
Authored by the development team from Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System and funded by the National Institutes of Health, the study explains the design of the 3D tracking system with near-infrared fluorescent (NIRF) markers and, using robotic experiments, compares its tracking accuracies against standard optical tracking methods. At speeds of 1 mm/second, the team observed tracking accuracies of 1.61 mm that degraded only to 1.71 mm when the markers were covered in blood and tissue.
Image Credit: Children’s National Health System
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.
A new wave of robotically assisted tools for knee and hip replacements is moving into specialty centers and hospitals around Minnesota, and the number of procedures appears poised to spike in 2017. The surgical robots carry big price tags, but people who use them say the cost is made up in quicker recovery times and more predictable results, especially in complex cases.
Last month a Kimball, Minn., woman made state history when she walked out of a surgical center in St. Cloud less than 12 hours after Dr. Eric Green used a robot-guided system to do the first total-knee replacement surgery in Minnesota. In the Twin Cities, Dr. Robert Hartman last year performed the state’s first hip replacement and partial-knee joint replacements using robotically guided tools.
The machines represent a significant opportunity for the medical device industry. By 2018, about one-third of all orthopedic surgeons nationally are expected to use robotic systems, compared to about 18 percent today, stock analysts with RBC Capital Markets projected last spring. Doctors cited a lack of early scientific evidence of superior results and the cost of the systems as two of the biggest obstacles to wider adoption.
Being a doctor is a well-paid profession, but the highest earning medical professionals are surgeons. Everybody who has had surgery knows just how much trepidation you feel when entering that room and realizing that someone is going to cut you open, root around a bit, and then sew you back up. Now if a robotic surgeon were to conduct the same operation, would you feel any better about it? What if robotic surgery gave you a 10X better success rate? Which would you choose it then?
It’s only a matter of time before the majority of skilled tasks are threatened by artificial intelligence and sophisticated automation techniques like robotics. Let’s take a look at 10 robotic surgery companies that may be operating on you sometime in your lifetime.
Mazor Robotics (NSDQ:MZOR) said today that the unveiling last month of its Mazor X robot-assisted spine surgery platform triggered the 2nd step in a 3-stage equity deal with Medtronic (NYSE:MDT).
Medtronic paid $20 million for a 3.4% stake in Mazor at $21.84 apiece, the trailing 20-day average for MZOR shares, the Caesarea, Israel-based company said. It’s part of a 2-stage deal struck with the world’s largest pure-play medtech maker back in May.
The 1st phase of the deal calls for Medtronic to acquire 15 Mazor systems in 2016 and makes Medtronic Mazor’s sole partner for developing and commercializing robot-assisted spine surgery devices. The 2nd phase is a 3-step equity investment in Mazor; including the payment announced today, the 2nd step in the equity phase, Medtronic has spent $31.9 million acquiring a 7.27% stake in Mazor.
The number of robotic general surgery procedures performed in the United States reached 140,000 in 2015—more than triple the number done in 2012, surgeons reported at the 2016 Annual Minimally Invasive Surgery Symposium (MISS). But it’s a boom going on amid a rigorous debate over the robot’s clinical and financial value.
Representatives of Intuitive Surgical said hernia repair and colorectal procedures are driving the uptake, particularly after results from a rectal surgery study were published this spring.
By Christina Frangou | General Surgery News