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Medical Robots Will Revolutionize Most Surgical Disciplines

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 11 May 2014
Surgical robots are gaining widespread acceptance across the globe as they enhance the surgeon’s abilities in terms of surgical imaging, navigation, planning, and instrument manipulation. These are the latest findings of Frost & Sullivan (Frost; London, United Kingdom), an international market research firm.

Surgical robotics technology is making its way into practically every major surgical discipline, with the global demand particularly high for prostatectomy and hysterectomy surgeries, as they are believed to offer greater safety, accuracy, and precision, leading to better clinical outcomes for the surgeon, patient, as well as hospital management. Advanced imaging techniques, higher degrees of freedom, interactive interfaces, haptics feedback, and teleoperation are being continuously developed to further strengthen the capabilities of surgeons.

Surgical robot manufacturers are also trying to reduce the footprint of existing robotic systems and lessen the invasiveness of surgical procedures by advancing single port, natural orifice, and swarm robotic technologies. The global surgical robotics market is top-heavy, with the leading participants having cutting-edge technologies and large patent libraries. The industry also has an abundance of smaller participants, such as University spinoffs and research centers that are working on further innovations in medical robotics.

However, the lack of randomized trials and comparison and outcome registries for robotic surgeries has raised questions regarding the efficacy of surgical robots. Stringent regulatory requirements, complex manufacturing processes, and extensive R&D are also hampering development. However, these restraints are short run, as robust clinical evidence to support the benefits of surgical robots’ economic efficiency, improved ergonomics, and reduced surgeon fatigue increase over the next few years. Companies within the market are also battling this issue by seeking feedback from customers, including hospitals, surgeons, and patients.

“In addition to demonstrating the superior efficacy of surgical robotic technologies with the aid of positive data from long-term clinical trials, market participants must use open architecture surgical platforms to promote collaboration and innovations in surgical robotics, and pave the way for greater investment from universities and research institutions,” said Frost analyst Geethu Roshan Verghese. “The market will continue to gradually prosper due to rising awareness, higher per capita income, and a growing aging population.”

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