Medtech betting big on surgical robots: 7 key updates in spine


More device companies are launching spine robots, which are anticipated to play a key role in the future of spine surgery, advancing far beyond their current capabilities related to the placement of pedicle screws.

Here are seven key notes on spine robots from the past six months:

1. South Korean medtech company Curexo received FDA licensing for its Cuvis-spine robot, which guides pedicle screw insertion and uses a robotic arm to make surgery more safe and efficient, according to the company.

2. Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha was encouraged by increased hospital spending on robotic and navigation technologies in recent months. "The use of our capital equipment ... is tied directly to procedures, so it's telling that hospitals are prioritizing spending on this type of equipment," Mr. Martha said.

3. The global surgical robot market is projected to hit $14.4 billion by 2026, up from about $6.4 billion in 2021, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets. Key market drivers include the benefits, technological advancements and rising adoption of surgical robots as well as increased funding for research.

4. NuVasive expects its Pulse system and associated robotics application for spine surgery to receive FDA clearance this summer. Pulse is an open-imaging platform integrated with Siemens' 3D mobile C-arm, Cios Spine, and is expected to have applications for all spine surgeries, not just complex or low-acuity cases, according to the company.

5. Fusion Robotics received FDA clearance for its spine robot in February. The robot is designed to improve spine procedural efficiency "with significantly less expense," compared to currently available robotic systems, according to Fusion Robotics.

6. In February, the FDA approved two Brainlab surgical robots: the Loop-X Mobile Imaging Robot and Cirq, a robotic surgical system for spine procedures. Brainlab believes that Loop-X is the first fully robotic intraoperative imaging device on the market, and the Cirq robotic alignment module assists surgeons during spine cases.

7. Medtronic's Midas Rex high-speed drills were cleared for use with its Mazor Robotic Guidance System in December. The drills are designed to improve precision, disc-prep access and navigation, according to the company.

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