- Percentage of hospitals with surgical robots to reach 100% in five years
- Robots used for first time in eye surgeries
- Robots to conduct delicate surgeries in development
By 2021, the abdominal surgical robot device market is forecasted to reach $10.5 billion, according to WinterGreen Research. This is up from $2.2 billion in 2014.
Market growth is fueled by an aging U.S. population. This age group has a higher occurrence of health issues that require medical treatment.
Studies have shown patients who are treated with surgical robots have improved-care delivery. This also will contribute to strong growth market.
Surgical robots provide a way to improve traditional open surgery by offering minimally invasive procedures.
The technology works with a surgeon performing the operation while sitting at a console, manipulating instrument controls and viewing the procedure through a vision system. Metal tubes attached to the arms are inserted through the ports, and the cutting and visualization instruments are introduced through the tubes into the patient’s body. Instruments are changed by withdrawing the instrument, using the controls at the console, and manually switching instruments. This is can be done repeatedly.
Within five years, the percentage of U.S. hospitals using surgical robots will increase from 21% to 100% as surgeons increasingly demand to work in facilities with robotic surgical equipment.
“Existing open abdominal surgery can be replaced in large part by robotic abdominal surgery during the forecast period,” said Susan Eustis, lead author of the WinterGreen Research report. “Abdominal robotic surgical approaches complement existing open surgery techniques. Soon, all surgery will be undertaken with at least come aspects of robotic surgery replacing or complementing open surgery.”
In September 2016, the first ophthalmology surgery was performed at Oxford University. The surgery corrected a 70-year-old man’s misshapen retina. More patients have since undergone similar procedures.
Although surgical robots have been in use for about a decade, they hadn’t been used on such delicate surgeries before because the robots are bulky.
“Building a surgical robot that can work on the size scale of the lens of the eye, which is less than 10 millimeters across, is difficult,” Chris Wagner, head of advanced surgical systems at Cambridge Consultants, told Technology Review.
Cambridge Consultants is working on a prototype robot called Axsis that works on areas as small as 110 microns across.
The robot that performed the eye surgeries, Robotic Retinal Dissection Device, also is a prototype. It will cost $1 million to develop.
- Surgical robots are used for gynecological surgery, head and neck surgery, urologic surgery, and general surgery.
- The only company with a measurable market share is Intuitive Surgical, and it is reaching market saturation.
- An emerging group of several abdominal surgical robotic companies will collectively have enough financial power and marketing clout to replace all open surgery.
- As the market grows rapidly, several vendors with specialized products have entered the market. To compete with Intuitive Surgical, they must compete with lower costs and bedside units.