Minimally invasive surgery offers faster recovery times, enabling shorter hospital stays, saving patients pain and insurers money, as well as increasing hospital efficiency. Robotic-assisted surgery could make such procedures even more precise and productive.
Cost, expertise, and increasing competition will affect the market for surgical robotics, which Markets and Markets predicts will grow from $4.2 billion in 2015 to $11.4 billion in 2020. Grand View Research expects the market to reach $12 billion by 2024, a slightly slower rate.
Industry leaders such as Intuitive Surgical, innovators such as IBM Watson, and new players such as Verb Surgical are converging to create the digital operating room. How is technology continuing to improve patient outcomes?
We chatted with Scott Hamilton, sales engineer at Maxon Precision Motors, about how surgical robotics systems are evolving. See what he had to say about accuracy, safety, and whether robots will ultimately replace or extend the reach of human surgeons.
We also checked in with Chris Wagner, head of advanced surgical systems at Cambridge Consultants. He’s been working on the Axsis surgical system, which promises to be lighter than existing models. He also discusses some of the big hardware challenges that surgical robotics still faces.
In addition, the optimal level of automation and potential rate of adoption are still up for debate. We also asked, should surgeons be at patients’ sides, or should they trust a machine between them? Which cognitive tasks should be delegated to the tools, and which should stay with humans?
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