Medical robots help physicians perform surgeries with greater precision. Medical robotics is an emerging field of medical science that involves widespread use of telepresence and involves numerous operations. Robots are used in this discipline to execute operations normally executed manually by human beings. Robotics in health care is playing a critical role in revolutionizing the entire system and deliver better and improved services to patients. Use of these systems in the medical field has minimized individual oversight and utilization of telepresence in medical operations has eliminated the distance barrier and aided in taking specialized care to inaccessible areas without the need for physical travel.
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A key factor contributing to the growth of the medical robotics market is the rising application of robotics systems in the medical field. Besides their use in surgery, these systems are increasingly being employed in pharmacy, clinical management, and elderly care. In pharmacy, robotics helps in relieving the supporting staff of monotonous duties, such as medication and workflow management. Globally, there has always been a shortage of medical staff, such as doctors and surgeons.
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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is a scarcity of around 4.3 million physicians in health care facilities. Based on a new study published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), there is likely to be a shortage of 34,600 to 88,000 doctors in the U.S by 2025, which is expected to rise to 40,800 to 104,900 doctors by 2030. Telepresence robots can help in providing people accessibility to medical care in remote locations in the absence of physicians. In case of elderly people, robots can act as companions and make their life enjoyable and easier.
Rise in investments in medical robotics is another factor propelling the growth of the global medical robotics market. In December 2015, the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced its decision to invest in the development of three innovative co-robots - robots that cooperatively work with people, out of which two robots are to be developed for improving health and quality of life of individuals with disabilities and the third one is to serve as social companion to individuals. The project as a part of National Robotics Initiative (NRI) will entail investments to the tune of US$ 2.2 million, spread over the next five years. Additionally, rise in investments in medical robots by health care providers, coupled with growing expenditure on health care globally, is projected to boost the growth of the global medical robotics market from 2018 to 2026. However, prohibitive prices of robotic systems and safety concerns raised over robotic surgery devices are likely to impede the growth of the market during the forecast period.
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The global medical robotics market can be segmented based on product type, application, and geography. In terms of product type, the medical robotics market can be divided into surgical robots, rehabilitation robotic systems, noninvasive radiosurgery robotic systems, pharmacy robotic systems and others. Based on application, the medical robotics market can be classified into laparoscopy, orthopedics, neurology, and others.
Geographically, the global medical robotics market can be segregated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America dominates the global medical robotics market due to rise in funding for research & development of new medical robotic systems, coupled with high adoption rate for these systems in the region’s health care system. North America is followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. Grant of approvals for medical robots in countries such as Japan is propelling the growth of the medical robotics market in Asia Pacific. In January 2018, Intuitive Surgical announced that it had received approval for 12 additional procedures in Japan for its da Vinci robot-assisted surgery devices. The procedures involved are additional colorectal, thoracic and gynecological surgeries, bladder cystectomies, plus gastrectomies, esophagectomies, and mitral valvuloplasty, which are in addition to prostatectomy and nephrectomy, already approved for robot-assisted surgeries in the country.
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Prominent players operating in the global medical robotics market are Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc., Intuitive Surgical, Inc., Stryker Corporation, Mazor Robotics Ltd., Accuray Incorporated, etc.
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