Intuitive Surgical has maintained its reputation as the major innovator in the surgical robotics space: Its investors seem to be pricing in a lot of innovation.
The surgical robotics space is nevertheless transforming, though. At the IATIBIOMED 2016 earlier this year in Israel, Devicix's Bill Betten noticed that there were companies with robotic systems very different from the large and expensive systems exemplified by Intuitive Surgical's daVinci robits. Such systems--ranging from snake-like robotic systems to instruments that assisted in instrument placement and alignment to systems that enabled surgeries that might previously have proven difficult or impossible to perform--seemed to be in the "middle ground of assisted surgery with a distinctly practical feel from the perspective of utility, cost, and practicality." The MazorRobotics Renaissance Guidance System, for example, is meant to improve outcomes in such spine procedures as degenerative repair, pedicle screw fixation for complex spinal deformity, and vertebral augmentation.
[Image of da Vinci robotic surgical system courtesy of Intuitive Surgical]