Robotic orthopedic systems are specialized to improve the surgical outcomes of orthopedic surgeries. They assist in various procedures such as partial knee replacement, total knee replacement, and total hip replacement, to ultimately help surgeons perform procedures more consistently and accurately than manual techniques. In contrast to the dominant position of Intuitive Surgery in the general surgery robotics market, all the major orthopedic manufacturers are joining the battle in the orthopedic robotics market.
Major brands of orthopedic robotics include Stryker Mako, Zimmer Biomet ROSA RECON, DePuy Synthes VELYS, and Smith & Nephew CORI. CORI, Mako and ROSA RECON can be used for partial and total knee replacements, as well as total hip replacements. VELYS can only be used for total knee replacement. According to GlobalData analysis, Stryker Mako is the largest player in the US, buoyed by years of sales and early market entry. Mako has a robotic cutter attached to its robotic arm, focusing on touch. The system requires a preoperative CT image that is used to create a 3D model of the knee to assist the physician in planning before surgery.
Zimmer Biomet ROSA RECON is the second player on the market. His robotic arm helps precisely position cutting tools that are attached to the patient’s bone to help guide the surgeon’s cutting tool. ROSA RECON uses X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or even works on an image-free basis. Smith & Nephew CORI, which has the smallest footprint of the four systems, controls less than 20% of the orthopedic robotics market. Notably, DePuy Synthes VELYS share has increased significantly in the past year, from less than 10% to more than 20% in 2022. Affordable pricing could be one of the main reasons explaining the rapid adoption of VELYS.
Pricing determines the product’s profit margin, as well as market share and ease of making sales or difficulty in gaining adoption in the highly competitive orthopedic robotics market. The capital cost of orthopedic robots is enormous. Average selling prices (ASP) for all four systems range from $480,000 to over $1.1 million in the United States. DePuy Synthes VELYS is more budget friendly than other brands and 56% cheaper than Mako. Service and support costs for orthopedic robots also vary depending on the system configuration. VELYS service costs approximately 40% less than Mako.
According to a survey by the American Society of Hip and Knee Surgeons, more than half of allegedly registered members use robots for marketing purposes, with pressure from other facilities providing robotic surgery options. When non-clinical factors contribute significantly to the decision to adopt a new orthopedic robot, the lower price may be effective enough to convince surgeons to stay away from the leading brands. Mako’s ASP declined by approximately 9% in 2022. GlobalData predicts that capital expenditures for orthopedic robots will continually decline in the future due to fierce competition.
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