Johnson & Johnson have announced details for its new robotic surgical system, Ottava, that will compete with Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci robot.

In 2000, da Vinci became the first FDA-approved robotic surgical system for general laparoscopic surgery. Since that time, Intuitive Surgical has dominated the market for robotic surgery, with many general surgery procedures, such as colectomies, cholecystectomies, hernia repair, hysterectomies, myomectomies, and prostatectomies, performed using the da Vinci system.

Robotic surgical systems will see expansion

Given that the number of these procedures will increase by 6.5–12% from 2020 to 2030, GlobalData expects the market for robotic surgical systems to expand.

Currently, Intuitive Surgical makes up 92.3% of the global market for robotic surgical systems used for general surgery, which does not include robots for orthopedic procedures, such as Stryker ’s MAKO system, or neurosurgeries, including Medtronic ’s Mazor system.

Since the market is growing rapidly, it is no surprise that other medical device manufacturing giants such as Johnson & Johnson are hoping to take on Intuitive Surgical.

Acquisitions point to Johnson & Johnson becoming a key player in robotics

Johnson & Johnson proved its commitment to the growing robotic surgery market by acquiring Auris Health and its Monarch system for bronchoscopic procedures in 2019. While a major acquisition for Johnson & Johnson, this only provided the company with a 1.7% global share of the overall market for robotic surgical systems.

Furthermore, the company added a digital surgery platform through its acquisition of Verb Surgical . Through Johnson & Johnson’s acquisition of Auris Health, the company brought Dr. Frederic Moll onto its executive team. Dr. Moll, a co-founder of Intuitive Surgical, will provide the company with additional expertise in the area of building robotic surgical systems.

Competition will increase

Johnson & Johnson’s Ottava has been designed with six arms to allow for enhanced control, flexibility, and patient access during surgery.

Throughout 2021, Johnson & Johnson will be working on validating the Ottava system and plans to begin clinical trials in 2022. The company has indicated that Ottava will be able to perform a variety of procedures that overlap with the da Vinci system.

Increased competition in the near future will continue to drive innovation for robotic surgery with an expanded range of indications.

GlobalData estimates the global market for robotic surgical systems to be $1.84B, with sales for robotic instruments and accessories at $3.03B. Revenue is primarily generated from the US, with 82% of robotic system and 62% of instrument sales coming from this country alone.