Setting trends in surgical robotics

There is growing interest in robotics in medical manufacturing. Investors continue to fund the latest robotic innovations in the medical and manufacturing sectors. With plenty of cash in the market, venture capital (VC), private equity (PE), and strategic investors aim to capitalize and drive the development of disruptive robotic technologies. According Fortune Business InsightsThe global industrial robot market is expected to reach $31.13 billion by 2028, from $14.61 billion in 2020.

Many companies are developing robots to work alongside people in the medical field, including Galen Robotics, whose mission is to make life easier for doctors. The Galen Robotics surgical robotics platform works with standard surgical instruments to support the multiple procedures that occur daily in the operating room.

Recently, MD+DI met David Saunders, CTO and Co-Founder of Galen Robotics, to discuss upcoming trends and business opportunities affecting companies in the medical technology industry. He and Galen Robotics will be on hand at BIOMEDBoston device of September 28-29 to Boston Convention and Exhibition Center In Boston. Those interested in attending the biomedical show specializing in emerging technologies and products can register here.

Adrian: For those who don’t know who you are, tell us a bit about yourself and your place in the biomedical industry.

David: Galen Robotics has developed a cooperative microsurgery robot that aims to address some key unmet needs in robotic surgery. It is ergonomically designed to fit into existing surgical workflows without the need for a dedicated operating room or moving the surgeon out of their patient-preferred location. We plan to use an affordable as a service model to deliver these surgical robots at scale to hospitals and facilities on a per-use operating cost basis rather than large and restrictive capital purchases. The company is pursuing digital surgery as a service to bring new solutions to data collection, training and wayfinding in the operating room. We commercialize research done in the Computational Sensing and Robotics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and work closely with these pioneers and leaders. Specifically, the work of Dr. Kevin Olds and Dr. Russell Taylor in inventing the robotic ENT microsurgery system at JHU helped start our journey.

Adrian: We are thrilled to have your support as a keynote speaker at BIOMEDevice Boston. Do you have any exciting news to share from Galen Robotics?

David: We recently filed for FDA clearance for our surgical robotics platform.

Adrian: What trends do you see emerging and how will they be highlighted at this event?

David: I think post-pandemic, if you can call it that, there are two big changes for surgical robotics, as well as other areas of medical technology: leverage and cooperation. The familiar capital-intensive and resource-poor procurement model is giving way to a shared-risk model, where vendors participate in the risk and cost of obtaining solutions for vendors, so liability does not not entirely the supplier’s responsibility. Hospitals faced an existential crisis at the height of the pandemic, and many still do. As they regain their health, business simply cannot be the same. Big capital purchases are much less viable today, and there needs to be a better democratization of technology. Also, I think there will be less one-trick-ponies. You will see surgical robots become more versatile to adapt to different tools and be applicable to a wider variety of procedures. Better use of data will bring better efficiency and better results. Better integration will benefit everyone.

Adrian: What are you most looking forward to from BIOMEDevice Boston in September?

David: BIOMEDevice Boston is a great opportunity to see what’s happening in the industry and seek inspiration on how to bring multiple solutions together as we approach a more integrated environment in the medical industry. I’m glad to be here.

Christine E. Phillips