Growth of the robotic medical device market will be primarily driven by robot-assisted neurosurgery and orthopaedic surgery. However, added value to R&D and manufacturing processes may convince healthcare providers to invest in other areas of the sector, including industrial robots, drones, and Cloud robotics. Over the next decade, GlobalData projects positive growth in all areas of robotics, with the total industry estimated to be worth $568bn by 2030 and the robotic medical devices market estimated to be worth $14.5bn due to the key emerging device segments of surgical robots and care robots. Additional information on the robotics market, opportunities for healthcare providers, and key market players is available in GlobalData’s report, Robotics in Healthcare – Thematic Intelligence.

Surgical robots are used to automate part or all of the medical surgery process. They are primarily used for minimally invasive surgeries in cardiology and neurology, making up much of the medical robot market. These robots improve visibility and provide enhanced flexibility, feedback, and control compared to conventional procedures, providing stability and mobility during surgery and leading to quicker operations, reduced risk of human error, and decreasing recovery time in the hospital. With more development, these devices may also have the potential to perform nanosurgery on individual cells, which could expand treatment options for difficult-to-treat diseases, like brain diseases.

Care robots provide support partially or fully autonomously, typically for elderly or disabled patients, and are predicted to account for about one-third of the 2030 robotic medical devices market. They assist with smaller tasks like getting out of bed or dispensing medication but are also capable of complex interactions like providing emotional support and human connection. Some can even help nurses perform routine tasks like taking blood or recording temperature. These robots could compensate for staffing and skills shortages in healthcare and will cut costs associated with the increasing healthcare needs of the global ageing population.

Industrial co-bots, inspection robots, drones, and Cloud robotics have also helped resolve healthcare challenges like Covid-19, smart manufacturing, and efficient drug discovery and development. These robots speed up processes and scale-up R&D, manufacturing, and distribution and could further be used to reduce costs for clinical trials and allow for decentralized trial design. Though the healthcare industry is cautious about adopting new technology, the fast-growing robotic medical devices industry can improve processes at all stages of the production and treatment pipeline and will be integral to managing healthcare resources and addressing the approaching challenge of the ageing population.