Intuitive Surgical has long dominated the field surgical robotics, but it is now facing serious competition from medtech giants as well as numerous start-ups. This increased competition comes at a time when the very nature of robotically-enabled surgery is changing due to the advent of advanced digital technologies. Part 2 of a 2-part feature.
Despite its success in pioneering and promoting robotically-enabled surgery, Intuitive Surgical Inc. has always faced questions about clinical outcomes and the cost of its da Vinci systems. Surgeons and hospitals weigh a number of considerations when assessing the value of a robot. Superior outcomes, a more natural feel, and the assurance that the surgeon can count on the stability and reliability of the robot intra-operatively are critical. So is efficiency. Surgeons “want to be able to turn the operating room over quickly,” notes Intuitive Surgical’s President and CEO Gary Guthart, PhD.