Archive Megatrends 2018

Rise of the Robot

Market competition and specialty-specific platforms will make robotic-assisted surgery commonplace.

Brielle Gregory

Brielle Gregory, Associate Editor


Helping Hand
HELPING HAND Joseph Nessler, MD, a surgeon at St. Could (Minn.) Orthopedics, believes the use of robots will increase significantly over the next 5 years.

When you think about robotic surgery, "da Vinci" probably comes to mind, and with good reason. The da Vinci Surgical System has had a stranglehold on the robotics market ever since its launch in 2000 and is still the go-to platform for robotic-assisted abdominal surgery. But that might not be the case for much longer. Several compact platforms in development offer the benefits of robotic-assisted surgery at a fraction of the da Vinci's million-dollar price tag. Robotic arms are also making joint replacement more precise and spine surgery safer.

Assuming that only health systems with bottomless budgets have the means to purchase robots will have you playing catch-up to facilities with the foresight to realize that robotic assistance is evolving from supposed marketing gimmick to outpatient surgery mainstay.

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