The number of surgical procedures performed using robots is growing quickly. As such, the market for robotic surgical systems and accessories is rapidly expanding. The use of robots to perform surgery occurred in as early as 1985 when the Puma 560 robotic surgical arm (Westinghouse Corp) was used for neurosurgical biopsies. This was followed by the AESOP system (Computer Motion), which became the first Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved system for endoscopic surgery.

By 2000, Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci robot became the first FDA-approved system for general laparoscopic surgery. Since this time, Intuitive Surgical has been the market leader for robotic surgical systems with most general surgery procedures utilising this system and variations of it. More recently, Stryker acquired MAKO in 2013 and this system was subsequently approved in 2015 for partial knee, total hip and total knee replacement.

By 2019, other major medical device companies entered the robotic surgery space with Johnson & Johnson acquiring Auris Health and its Monarch system for bronchoscopic procedures, and Siemens Healthineers’ acquisition of Corindus Vascular Robotics. By 2020, the types of procedures able to be performed by robots included neurosurgery indications, especially with Medtronic receiving FDA approval for cranial procedures such as brain tissue biopsies, electrode placement and laser-ablation procedures with its Mazor system.

The interest of large manufacturers in this market is not unfounded. GlobalData anticipates rapid increases in the number of partial knee replacement, total knee replacement, total hip, colectomy, cholecystectomy, hernia repair, hysterectomy, myomectomy, prostatectomy, EP studies, catheter ablation, and many other types of procedures performed with surgical robots. GlobalData has calculated compound annual growth for these procedures from 2020 to 2030 to be between 6.5%-12%, depending on the procedure.

For general surgery robotic procedures, Intuitive Surgical dominates the market, while GlobalData views Stryker as the market leader for robotic orthopaedic procedures. The market for spine and neurosurgeries is currently split between Medtronic, Globus Medical and Zimmer Biomet. In all procedure categories, many challengers are manufacturing robots for specific indications that will compete with these market leaders.

GlobalData expects that market leaders will continue to benefit from deep market penetrance and can maintain their position by investing in research and development (R&D) and receiving approval for additional indications. Challengers will have a tough time winning market share from market leaders. However, focusing on niche procedures will encourage specialists to use their robotic systems.

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Increased competition in the coming years will stimulate improved technologies and an expanded range of indications. However, the high cost for robotic systems will be a deterrent to many facilities, especially in developing markets. In 2019, GlobalData estimates the global market for robotic surgical systems to be $1.843bn with sales for robotic instruments and accessories at $3.03bn. Revenue is primarily generated from the US with 82% of the robotic system and 62% of instrument sales coming from this country alone.