Medical robotic systems market: Surgical robots lead in North America

img_LogoMedical robotic systems consist of preprogrammed devices that assist surgeons in performing complex surgical procedures in various ways. Robotic devices help eliminate surgery risks caused by human error and the programmable nature of medical robotic systems means that they can be used in various procedures for different tasks. The convenience of medical robotic systems for physicians and the better results brought about by their usage have driven the global market for the same in the past few years.

According to Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global medical robotic systems market was worth close to US$5.5 bn in 2011 and will rise to US$13.6 bn by 2018 at a CAGR of 12.60% therein. Technological innovation in robotics technology and the increasing ability of patients to afford advanced medical treatments will drive the global medical robotic systems market in the coming years.

One of the latest innovations in medical robotic systems comes from Cambridge Medical Robotics (CMR), a fresh startup headed by Martin Frost, former CEO of leading technology group Sagentia.

The medical robotic platform designed by CMR aims to conquer the technical limitations that have so far restrained the use of medical robotic systems on a large-scale.

As opposed to the 8-mm standard for medical robotic tools, CMR’s new system incorporates 5-mm surgical tools and a maneuverable wristed system. This makes the platform much more diversely applicable than existing medical robotics platforms. CMR has targeted the field of keyhole surgeries, in which only 600,000 of 6 mn surgeries annually make use of robotic systems. CMR claims that its versatile medical robotic platform can be used in all types of keyhole surgeries; the low-cost and high technological sophistication of the platform also make it a favorable alternative to conventional medical robotic systems. Due to the growing demand for minimally invasive surgeries, CMR may have come up with a trump card.

Hansen Medical’s highly popular Magellan line of medical robotic systems, which recently achieved the milestone of being used in 1,000 medical procedures, is set to expand with the addition of a 3Fr robotic microcatheter. By allowing surgeons to reach extremely small vessels, the catheter could open up the possibility of medical robotic systems being used in neural and cardiac surgeries and even cancer treatment.

The product is still in the development stage, but Hansen Medical recently announced that they had stepped up the development pace of the microcatheter, bolstered by the 1,000th procedure utilizing the Magellan product line.

Since the medical robotic field is still nascent, a balance between the technological and commercial sides of medical robotic systems has not been achieved. If demand remains steady in the coming years, the price of medical robotic systems could fall significantly, aiding the global market’s smooth development.

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