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Abdominal Surgical Robots: Market Shares, Strategies, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2015-2021

  • December 2015
  • -
  • WinterGreen Research
  • -
  • 416 pages

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Intuitive Surgical owns the market as the sole participant with measurable market share in abdominal surgical robots. This leadership position will need to be defended as other products, now in clinical trials come to market. Advanced technology, an impressive installed base and a well trained group of surgeons able to manage the robots give Intuitive Surgical market advantage. Patients fare better when the surgery is done by surgical robots. The documentation of improvements in care delivery, the ability to ensure better outcomes from surgery promise that abdominal surgical robotics is a strong growth market.

Abdominal robotic surgery is poised to eclipse open surgery. It is used in the categories of general surgery, urologic surgery, head and neck surgery, and gynecological surgery. Surgical robots are positioned to become the standard of care for hospitals in the delivery of abdominal surgery. The emerging group of several abdominal surgical robotic companies will collectively have enough marketing dollars and enough marketing clout to drive replacement of all open surgery. Abdominal surgical robots are evolving platforms that are useful for surgeons seeking to achieve excellence and repeatability in every surgery. Intuitive Surgical now dominates, is alone in the market, but several vendors with specialized products are targeting the large and rapidly growing abdominal robotic surgery market. The vendors expertise in a specialty gives them strategic advantage to address a large and growing market. Every surgeon working to perform gynecological surgery wants to practice at a hospital that has those abdominal robotic surgical devices, thus in order to attract physicians and patients, the hospitals have to purchase the robot surgical equipment. The penetration of the hospitals will go from 21% to 100% in the US within five years, as the surgeons migrate to the places that have the robotic surgical equipment. The abdominal surgical robots permit better surgery and the surgeons and patients know this.

The technology uses 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. The surgeon performs the procedure while sitting at a console, manipulating the instrument controls and viewing the operation through a vision system. When a surgeon needs to change an instrument the instrument is withdrawn from the surgical field using the controls at the console and the nursing assistants switch instruments as per the physician instruction. This is done many times during an operation. Key elements of abdominal surgical robot strategy include a focus on key procedures. This study has a concentration on procedure analysis as that is the essence of the market. Existing procedures are easier, safer and more cost-effective than the alternative methods. The strategy is to broaden the number of procedures performed using a robotic surgical system and to educate surgeons, hospitals and patients as to the benefits of robotic surgery while understanding the numbers relating to procedure implementation.

An analysis of abdominal robotic procedure volumes and variety procedures leads to the conclusion that Intuitive Surgical market position will be difficult to dislodge. Intuitive Surgical dominant position is based on technological excellence that keeps being improved. Competitors will have a difficult time catching up, much less improving on the Intuitive Surgical technology. True bedside units and lower cost will help other competitors emerge. Intuitive Surgical has achieved close to market saturation in colorectal surgery in the US, it will work on increasing its presence in other surgical market sectors. The leading robotic surgical companies are poised to grow through acquisition, purchasing smaller companies that have developed as specialized product and gained FDA approval. As detailed in the market research study there are a lot of those in every medical specialty and more to come.

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