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Training Key to Remote Surgery System Sales

Photonics.com
Jun 2003
SAN JOSE, Calif., June 18 -- The field of image-guided and robot-assisted surgery has benefited from expanding applications, but a sustained effort to familiarize users with the systems is imperative to industry growth, according to a new analysis by Frost & Sullivan, "US Image-Guided and Robot-Assisted Surgery Markets."

The study reveals that revenues in this industry totaled $186.6 million in 2002 and are projected to reach $600.8 million by 2009.

"Growing demand for imaging data coupled with new minimally invasive techniques has reinforced the need for continuous education," said Frost & Sullivan analyst Dhiraj Ajmani. "Education and training of surgeons and surgical staff will propel the acceptance of these technologies and lay the path for opportunities in the future."

While the IGS markets for neurological and ENT applications are mature, spinal and orthopedic applications are still developing, Frost & Sullivan said.

A slow learning curve with robot-assisted surgery systems has dissuaded many surgeons from using these systems, according to the report.

"Extensive training is required, as the surgeon is more familiar with using his hands inside the human body than sitting in a console to guide the surgical instruments," said Ajmani.

High R&D costs and limited acceptance rules out economy of scale, making robotic surgical systems very expensive, Frost & Sullivan said. The Zeus system costs between $800,000 and $1 million, and the da Vinci system costs $1 million; annual service contracts for the systems are roughly 10 percent of the sale price.

For more information, visit: www.frost.com



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