The moment we’ve all been waiting for: Medtronic’s surgical robot unveiled

Medtronic introduced its surgical robotics platform along with a real-time demonstration of a cadaver surgical procedure using the robot, plus a surgeon panel discussion.

Medtronic kept the market in suspense for quite some time regarding details of its robotic-assisted surgery platform but as recently promised, the company pulled back the curtain on its robotics system during an investor meeting in Hartford, CT.

One of the clear takeaways from the meeting was the company’s depth of commitment to the surgical robotics space.

This isn’t just about launching a robot, this is about building a robotics business,” said Bob White, EVP and president of Medtronic’s minimally invasive therapies.

White compared Medtronic’s entrance into robotic-assisted surgery to Porche’s entrance into the electric car market.

When Porche decided to enter the electric car market, they [brought] with them tremendous experience in automotive innovation. They had never built an electric car, but they understood automotive,” White said. “We understand surgery better than any other company in the world and that’s what we bring to the table.”

White and other Medtronic executives emphasized that the company has designed the robotic-assisted surgery system to address both the cost and the utilization barriers that exist in the market.

“I’m often asked the question, ‘well Bob, how do you feel about competing in this 2% space?’ And I’m like, ‘you’re missing the point.’ This is about 98%,” White said. “This is about 98% of the procedures that aren’t being done. That’s about increasing market access and that’s something we do very well.”


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