The healthcare industry is currently focusing on minimally invasive therapies through the use of robots. Surgical robots help in decreasing the time of surgery and enhance the accuracy of the procedure. Owing to this, the demand for surgical robotic systems is increasing across the globe. Advanced technologies have resulted in several improvisations, including expanded applications of robotic systems, robotics combined with imaging platforms, and capsule robot systems, among others. For instance, scientists at University Hospitals Bristol are developing a robotic system that could help surgeons fix broken bones using minimally invasive surgery (MIS). It will be the first robot-assisted system that is being developed for complex joint fractures. Such technological advancements and breakthroughs in the field of medical robotics are expected to drive the market by enhancing the medical practice in the coming years. In addition, the market is riding on the pillars of various funding for research, development, and commercialization that is likely to be responsible for the gain in momentum in medical robots market in the coming years. Medical robotics is an application-driven research field wherein the development of medical robotic systems requires significant innovation.
Currently, surgical robots dominate the market with Intuitive Surgical, Inc. owing to its flagship product Da Vinci Surgical System, taking a lion’s share. However, the surgical robots are premium priced and are likely to be a barrier to the growth of the market. Titan Medical strategically introduced its flagship product, the SPORT Surgical System which is a smaller and cheaper alternative to the Da Vinci Surgical System, in order to penetrate deep in the market by meeting the current needs in surgical procedures, thus benefiting all stakeholders, including patients, surgeons, and hospitals. The SPORT system is mobile, has a smaller footprint, and is priced at less than $1 million, as opposed to $1.5 to $2.3 million of the Da Vinci system. This makes Titan’s system attractive for hospitals that have not yet bought a surgical robot, about 3,000 in the U.S. alone. Hysterectomies and prostatectomies are one of the most common medical procedures for which robotic systems are currently used. With the SPORT Surgical System, Titan plans to target the general surgery field which represents 37% of the surgeries, as well as cholecystectomies and ear, nose, and throat procedures.
The rehabilitation robotics segment and hospital and pharmacy robotics segment are poised to grow at the highest growth rate owing to the rising aging population and increasing number of rehabilitation treatment centers and sports facilities. With rehabilitation robotics technologies evolving, more sophisticated combinations of exercise have become feasible. With the robots, more sessions are possible as compared to generally 1,000 varied movement practices by patients per session. Creating a gaming aspect to the rehabilitation process has brought significant demand for these systems. To further penetrate the market demand, Hocoma AG, a prominent global market player in the rehabilitation robotics field is involved in collaborations with a number of departments at Twente University and Roessingh Research andDevelopment.
Companies competing in the medical robotics space should exploit the space of nanorobots that have a number of potential applications in medicine. In cancer treatment, research is being conducted to develop nanorobots that can perform noninvasive surgeries at the cellular level on patients with tumors. These robots would also be able to determine the exact location of a tumor. Additionally, there is a possibility that these nanorobots could be used for taking skin samples for pathological testing and for diagnostic purposes. For targeted drug delivery, the nanorobots are able to inject medicine precisely inside the body. Similarly, scientists at ETH Zurich’s multiscale robotics lab are conducting research on magnet-guided nanorobots to perform minimally invasive eye surgeries that could treat cataract and glaucoma patients. Thus, we see that there are numerous opportunities for nanorobotics in the field of medicine and it is just a matter of time before these opportunities are commercialized and a new revolution is brought about in the medical field.