MEDICAL ROBOTICS AND COMPUTER-ASSISTED SURGERY
Information technology plays a key role in an ever-widening range of human activities, including surgery. Computers, working in tandem with a variety of microprocessor-enabled equipment and instruments, support and facilitate the work of the surgeon and have brought a level of safety and precision to surgery that would have been inconceivable just a few years ago.
These computers, electronic equipment, and instruments are referred to collectively as medical robotics and computer-assisted surgery (MRCAS) or, more dramatically, “the Operating Room of the Future.” Their intended function is not to replace the surgeon, but to support the surgeon with enhanced dexterity, visual feedback, and information integration.
STUDY GOAL AND OBJECTIVES
This BCC study analyzes U.S. and global markets for MRCAS equipment in the light of the most recent available information. In addition to looking at current and future markets for these devices, the study will analyze technological, economic, and regulatory developments that may have a long-term impact on the size and structure of the MRCAS market.
More specific objectives are to:
- Identify and segment the main types of MRCAS devices that have been commercialized to date.
- Analyze the historical and current volume and value of shipments of each of these product segments in specified applications and geographical markets.
- Identify and evaluate the impact of demographic, economic, and other factors that will drive future demand for MRCAS devices.
- Forecast the volume and value of product shipments by equipment type and application and probabilities that future demand will be higher or lower than the baseline forecast.
- Identify promising new surgical procedures and products still in the development and testing stage and assess the probability that they will be commercialized successfully in the next 5 years,
- Forecast the potential market for these developmental procedures and products, taking into account the estimated probability that they will be commercialized.
- Identify leading manufacturers of the devices and analyze the structure of the MRCAS industry (e.g., market shares, concentration, and recent M&A activity).
- Assess the long-term outlook for MRCAS equipment, taking into account market opportunities as well as technological, financial, and economic factors.
REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY
MRCAS is used in a growing number of operating rooms around the world, largely as a result of the growing popularity of minimally invasive surgical (MIS) techniques. Minimally invasive, or “keyhole,” surgery is an alternative to traditional open-incision surgery in a growing number of procedures. MIS utilizes special instruments that can be inserted and manipulated through small incisions (sometimes no more than a few millimeters long) under remote optical or video guidance, greatly reducing patient trauma and recovery times.
The need to perform delicate surgical procedures, safely, in tight spaces where the surgeon cannot see directly, has created a growing market for devices that act as extensions of the surgeon’s eyes and hands: remote imaging, data processing and feedback, and robotics. This market is already estimated at more than half a billion dollars annually and is growing faster than the overall surgical equipment market.
Because the use of these products is increasing so rapidly, there is a pressing need to develop and maintain an up-to-date base of market information in order to better understand the dynamics of the market for MRCAS devices and equipment. Several research reports on the medical robotics and computer-assisted surgical market are in print, but all are based on research that is two or more years old, a relatively long time in such a fast-moving field. One of the two most recent reports is a briefer, less in-depth report than the present study.
Meanwhile, MRCAS technology has been evolving, as have the medical and economic environments in which it is used. Populations are aging, increasing demand for a wide range of age-related surgical procedures such as heart and orthopedic surgery. Technological advances have expanded the range of surgical procedures that can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, making them accessible to even more people.
The structure of the hospital industry, the main user of MRCAS, is changing, as hospitals consolidate and other health care options such as walk-in surgical clinics become available to consumers. Private and government health insurers around the world are becoming more cost-conscious, forcing hospitals to re-evaluate their capital spending plans but strengthening the case for technologies that can reduce the cost of surgical procedures. Medical malpractice suits continue to be common in markets like the United States, and technologies that increase the precision and accuracy of surgery have obvious appeal. This report attempts to give management readers the information and analysis they need to understand and deal with these issues.
This report provides an analysis of the market for MRCAS by type of surgical procedure, device, and region. The future of MRCAS equipment will also be discussed, with forecasts for consumption of specific products.
This report has been written for the entire MRCAS interest community but is tailored especially for readers with an interest in the marketing and management dimensions of MRCAS equipment, especially those in:
- The medical and surgical devices industry
- Medical research institutions
- The financial and analyst community
SCOPE OF REPORT
This report is an analytical business tool whose primary purpose is to describe the MRCAS equipment industry and the global market for these devices. MRCAS equipment is defined as computer- or microprocessor-enabled devices and accessories that are physically situated in the operating room and directly assist the surgeon in planning and carrying out surgical procedures. Thus, the scope of the study does not include:
- Devices that provide images and other information but are not an integral part of the MRCAS system such as preoperative imaging (e.g., computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) equipment, laboratory and other analytical devices
- Computerized medical records systems
- Electronic operating room equipment such as heart monitors that enable the surgical team to monitor the patient’s condition but do not assist the surgeon directly in carrying out the operation
- Other nonelectronic operating room equipment
The format of the study is organized around the following topics:
- Major types and applications of MRCAS
- Industry structure
- Market size and segmentation, including historical data on sales by application, product type, and geographical market
- Market drivers
- Detailed market projections through 2014
- Competition and market shares
- Observations and conclusions regarding the future of the MRCAS market
METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES
The findings and conclusions of this report are based on information gathered from manufacturers and users of MRCAS and other informed sources. Interview data was combined with information gathered through an extensive review of secondary sources such as trade publications, trade associations, company literature, and online databases to produce the baseline market estimates contained in this report.
The base year for analysis and projection is 2008. With 2008 as a baseline, market projections were developed for 2009 to 2014. The market projections are “consensus” projections, obtained by averaging market scenarios obtained from industry and other sources or developed independently by BCC. The analytical methodologies BCC used to generate the market estimates are described in detail in the section on detailed market projections.
All dollar projections presented in this report are in 2008 constant dollars.
The author of this report is Andrew McWilliams. Mr. McWilliams, a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm of 43rd Parallel, LLC, is the author of several other Business Communications Company studies of the surgical and related medical devices markets, including: The Market for Minimally Invasive Medical Devices (HLC051E); Patient Monitoring (HLC038C); Global Medical Markets for Nanoscale Materials and Devices (HLC058A); and Microelectronic Medical Implants: Products, Technologies, and Opportunities (HLC016C).
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The information developed in this report, is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice; nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is of a speculative nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or from its use.