Competition is heating up in the medical robotics space, an area of the medical device industry Intuitive Surgical is a clear leader in with its Da Vinci system installed in ~5,000 hospitals and other medical centers around the world (approximately 60% of Intuitive Surgical’s installed base is in the US). Medtronic PLC seeks to launch its own robot-assisted surgery device for soft tissue surgeries, aimed not at stealing market share from Intuitive Surgical’s existing customers (no easy feat given that the upfront cost of ~$0.5-$2.0 million per Da Vinci system on top of needing to retrain surgeons on how to use a new system) but winning over new customers that have yet to adopt medical robotics systems like the Da Vinci. Medtronic’s new offering isn’t expected until 2021 at the earliest and the company plans to utilize the same business model as Intuitive Surgical given the success the market leader has had with winning over recurring business.
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