In September 2019, a cardiologist in India performed the first percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedure using Corindus Vascular Robotocis’ CorPathGRX system, a remote robot-assisted PCI (R-PCI) system, while located 20 miles away from the source of the operation.
GlobalData estimates that over 300,000 PCI procedures have been performed in India, and expects this number to continue growing over the next 10 years. While PCI procedures are becoming more accessible to individuals in India, a significant portion of the population is still unable to access a catheter lab for treatment due to the country’s large rural population.
While the CorPath system has previously been used to perform the procedure at a distance of several feet away from the patient, the successful treatment of a patient from 20 miles away paves the way for patients to be treated remotely. The CorPath system also includes several other advantages, such as reducing radiation exposure to the physician and eliminating the need to wear heavy lead-lined protective garments.
The CorPath system has the potential to address the unmet needs of traditional PCI procedures; however, there are several drawbacks of robot-assisted surgical procedures that Corindus will have to address to ensure the success of its device. The two main drawbacks to the introduction of robot-assisted ablation procedures to treat atrial fibrillation were the procedure’s high price and usability.
The system is extremely expensive and requires additional time for physician training. According to electrophysiologists in the field, the accuracy of ablation during the procedure remains an issue, where physicians still preferred to perform the procedure in person. These major disadvantages may outweigh the potential benefit of remotely treating patients. As such, the CorPath system will need to address these issues to prove the advantages of R-PCI over traditional PCI procedures.