How sensor technologies will transform the surgical robots of the future

Sensors are key components of medical devices and are changing the medical industry. The medical imaging field is directly impacted by technology shifts in the sensor market, whether in X-ray, endoscopy or molecular imaging applications. Surgical robotics is one of the applications of endoscopy with the highest requirements in terms of image quality, while the surgical robotics market is also being directly impacted by other sensor technologies such as haptics. Sensors are key enablers of these new technologies available in medical robotics and are slowly transforming the healthcare system.

Sensor technologies are changing the medical imaging industry

The medical imaging equipment industry is a huge $35B market with a few mega-players, and a comfortable +5.5% CAGR for the next 5 years1. Medical imaging equipment encompasses X-ray imaging (general radiography, computed tomography, dental x-ray, etc.), molecular imaging (PET and SPECT mainly), endoscopy, optical coherence tomography and ultrasound imaging.

Sensor technologies are at the heart of these systems and are slowly creating disruptive market forces within the industry. The solid-state medical sensor market, which encompasses CCD, CIS, a-SI FPD, a-Se FPD, SiPM, and now cMUT and pMUT, has reached $350M in 2016 and is expected to grow at +8.3% CAGR from 2016 – 2022, representing $600M by 2022 (1).

Sensors are becoming key technology know-how for tomorrow’s medical equipment manufacturers. The world is becoming increasingly data-driven, with ever more applications using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data. Doctors and scientists expect continuous improvements in image quality, while also developing new applications where these solid-state imaging capabilities can be used to their full extent. PET/MRI hybrids and endoscopy are examples of solid-state technology becoming the key enabler… Full article

About the author:

As a Technology & Market Analyst, Dr. Marjorie Villien  is member of the Medical Technologies (MedTech) business unit at Yole Développement, the “More than Moore” market research and strategy consulting company. She is active in the development of MedTech, contributing to a dedicated collection of market & technology reports as well as custom consulting projects. As an example, Marjorie was involved in a project focused on videoscopy for endoscopy applications, to understand the benefits of the CCD/CMOS solution and identify business opportunities. In parallel, she performed an analysis of PET detectors technology to evaluate the impact of innovative Solid-State technologies on the evolution of the nuclear medicine industry. After spending two years at Harvard, Marjorie served as a research scientist at INSERM in the field of medical imaging for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, strokes and cancers. Marjorie has spoken in numerous international conferences and has authored or co-authored 11 papers and 1 patent. She exchanges views daily with clinicians, researchers and industrial partners to better understand technology issues and to ensure the connection between R&D and applications. Dr. Villien graduated from Grenoble INP and holds a PhD in physics & medical imaging.

(1) Solid-State Medical Imaging report, Yole Développement, 2017



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