Surgical robotics is one of the fastest growing sectors of the medical devices space. The market is an area that’s ripe with investment and development of innovative technologies.
As the market has grown, more and more surgical robotic technologies have emerged into the market, with focuses on different types of surgeries and body parts. One of the main areas where robotic surgery has experienced huge levels of innovation is laparoscopy and robots for the abdominal area.
There are some huge names in the laparoscopic robot space, as well as some really cool up-and-coming companies. Here’s a run-down of some who should definitely be on your radar!
On a mission to provide ‘best in class surgery for everyone’, ACTIV Surgical develop surgical software for minimally invasive surgical systems to autonomously collaborate with surgeons.
Their range of products aim to prevent avoidable surgical complications. Their ActivEdge platform is based on surgical intelligence and machine learning, providing surgeons with real time guidance during surgical procedures. One of the pioneers of AI in surgical robotics, ACTIV Surgical are paving the way for the future of autonomous surgery.
They are also developing the ActivInsight platform which uses machine learning to collate data from surgical procedures and transforms this into real-time surgical guidance.
One of the UK’s fastest growing companies, CMR Surgical and their pioneering Versius surgical robot are aiming to bring minimally invasive surgery to the masses. The Versius ‘biomimicks’ the human arm which provides dexterity, precision, and control to surgeons and is more ergonomic for those undertaking surgical procedures. Their technology also supports the whole operating room, facilitating strong communication between surgical teams.
After achieving Europe’s largest private financing round in the medical technology sector at the end of 2019, CMR are now scaling globally and installing their robotics system in hospitals around the world.
TransEnterix and their Senhance Surgical Robotic System are seeking to address the clinical and economic challenges associated with laparoscopic surgeries. Using innovative technologies like haptic feedback to improve pressure sensing for surgeons and eye sensing cameras, the Senhance system aim to support the very best clinical outcomes and overcome traditional limitations of laparoscopic surgeries.
They also filed a 510k submission earlier this year to integrate artificial intelligence features into their surgical system which represents a step forward in their mission to include machine learning in their robotics systems.
Combining virtual reality and surgical robotics, Vicarious Surgical ‘virtually transport surgeons inside the patient’. Using the world’s first virtual reality surgical camera, their aim is to improve patient outcomes as well as enhancing the abilities of surgeons by providing them with a VR surgical system.
Vicarious Surgical are certainly a company to watch out for, earlier this year they announced their latest round of funding to support their growth and development.
Founded in 2006, Virtual Incision are developing a first-of-its-kind miniature surgical robot. The MIRA is easily moved from room to room and is aiming to make minimally invasive surgery more accessible. Small but smart, the MIRA might be tiny, but it has full robotic capabilities whilst reducing the need for the infrastructure required for larger robotics systems or a dedicated operating room, providing a less expensive alternative to laparoscopic surgeries.
Although their technologies are focused on colorectal surgeries, Virtual Incision also offer additional ‘speciality robots’ for other kinds of surgery including hernia repair, gastric bypasses and hysterectomies.
Surgical robotics and talent
The rise of surgical robotics is placing certain skill sets in high demand.
Across the market there is a real drive on the recruitment of talent who have clinical experience to help with the implementation of surgical systems into hospitals and supporting the sales team. Training on the surgical systems is key to their success, so talent with a clinical or education background are fundamental in providing clinical training to operating room staff.
As with any developing technology, salespeople are also key to getting these systems into hospitals on a wide scale. There should be plenty of factors that will pull medical device salespeople to surgical robotics companies, as they’ll be working with revolutionary, high-tech product portfolios.
Finally, service engineers are integral to surgical robotics companies. From ensuring uptime to undertaking preventative maintenance, organisations are strengthening their engineering teams to make sure clinical teams get the very best out of their robotics system.
What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the surgical robotics market and some of the biggest players in the laparoscopic surgical space.
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