SAGES 2023 provided a confirmation and insight as to where the minimally invasive surgical market is heading.
The response to the ask from the surgeon’s perspective of “A surgical robot is fine, but I would be as interested and thankful if you could improve the visualization capabilities and let me see what I am not able to see with my naked eye.”
This request is being aggressively pursued and I had the opportunity to demo behind closed doors some amazing multi-spectral visualization systems that appear to be able to deliver on this request.
The large form factor robotic system of Medtronic’s Hugo was on display and had a buzz around the booth. Some comments were positive, and others had quite a bit of head scratching going on, given the pursuit of smaller form factor and less expensive surgical robotic systems that are underway. This is the risk an organization has when it takes over a decade to get a system that requires an early lockdown in its architecture and sets up as a one-way street in a rapidly evolving market.
On this subject, there were a few systems not on the SAGES floor, but behind closed doors that answer the smaller form factor, single port access and broader mission capabilities than exist today.
The surgical training technologies continue to impress with a range of solutions that include AR, VR, and mixed modality approaches to bringing the surgeon’s learning curve up to speed in order to drive earlier and more rapid adoption and utilization that will be required with digital surgery growth.
Financing information was shared with me at the conference. There will be a few rather large and important announcements made over the next few weeks in the surgical robotic financings, JV’s and mergers that are fantastic for the market.
It was most definitely a smaller footprint than in the past and there were “strategics” that were noticeably not present which makes for a longer conversation in regards to their long term commitment to a market and support of a critical organization like SAGES.