How can surgical robotics companies make sustainable profits?


Surgical robot, in fact, is a set of surgical operating system, surgical robot through a clear imaging system and flexible robotic arm, in the form of minimally invasive surgery, to assist the doctor to carry out complex surgical procedures, for example, Perlove Medical’s Orthopedic Surgical Robot PL300B is an intelligent navigation and positioning robot for assisting orthopedic surgery, empowering the doctor through digitalization, minimally invasive and intelligent way of “hand” (robotic arm), “eye” (navigation) and “brain” (intelligent planning) through digitalization, minimally invasive, intelligent way to empower the doctor’s “hand” (robotic arm), “eye” (navigation) and “brain” (intelligent planning). With the flat 3D C-shaped arm independently developed and produced by Perlove Medical, surgery can be performed through smaller incisions (minimally invasive), reducing blood loss and facilitating patient recovery.

Surgical Robotics

The profitability of surgical robots is divided into three parts: system (i.e., the whole machine), services and consumables.

System: the surgical robot itself, including hardware and software. Companies sell surgical robots to hospitals for a one-time price.

Consumables: Instruments used in conjunction with the robot during the surgical process, such as robotic arms and other high-value consumables, are sold to hospitals on an ongoing basis.

Services: Services related to the sale of surgical robots, such as maintenance and doctor training services.

In foreign countries, especially in the field of orthopedic robots, most of the companies that produce and sell orthopedic surgical robots have orthopedic-related implant consumables, and most of them have full coverage of spine, joint, and trauma consumables. From the traditional orthopedic manufacturers that everyone recognizes (such as Medtronic, Stryker, Johnson & Johnson, Jetmax, etc.) to orthopedic newcomers (such as Globus, Accelus, etc.), all of them rely on the two-legged road of consumables + robotics, and if you use a certain company’s robots, you will be matched with the use of his orthopedic endoprosthetic implants, and some of the companies even developed endoprosthetics that are specifically suitable for robots (such as the Globus R&D of the U-shaped pedicle screw system with separate tail cap and screw).

For example, Intuitive Surgical, which developed and manufactured the da Vinci surgical robot, robotically hitches a ride on an exclusive high-value consumable, the robotic arm. In surgery, the actual surgical action is the da Vinci surgical robot’s four mechanical operating arms, and these four arms can only be used up to ten times to be replaced, and the customer can only choose Intuitive Surgical’s robotic arm, a robotic arm costs about $2,000. Under this sales model, for every da Vinci robot sold, there will be a steady stream of consumables sales, in addition to high maintenance fees, start-up fees, which ensure that intuitive surgery company’s annual revenue growth.

Short-term to equipment sales, long-term consumables will become the main source of income. 2020 domestic sales of surgical robots in the market system accounted for 55.8%, consumables accounted for 38.2%; but in the same year, the U.S. market system revenue accounted for only 25.3%, consumables accounted for 57.7%. At the early stage of the industry, as the current domestic robotic surgery volume has not reached a certain scale, the enterprise revenue is still mainly based on the sale of the robot itself, is expected to gradually converge to the revenue structure of the U.S. market in the future, and long-term consumables will become the main source of income.

In the surgical robotics industry, both at home and abroad, the commercialization trend must be around the “equipment + consumables + services” to create a closed loop, the acquisition of consumables is a key step. The next step, in order to focus on intelligence, consumables, core components and other directions, to the platform for the general trend, really usher in the human-computer interaction of the surgical robot.


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