Robotics is still in its infancy in spine surgery, but the technology is expected to play a key role in the future of how spine procedures are performed.
While the spine robot market is largely dominated by Medtronic and Globus Medical, other device companies are launching their own robots to try and lure some surgeons and institutions away from legacy platforms developed by the medtech giants. Johnson & Johnson has also announced its intention to develop a spine robot of its own in the coming years.
Here are three spine robots that have launched in the U.S. in the last year:
1. eCential Robotics received FDA 510(k) clearance for its spine robot in September. The system has been used in more than 2,000 cases in Europe. ECential has partnered with U.S. implant companies to help it penetrate the North American market. The robot is a fully unified intraoperative imaging, navigation and robotics platform that can be used with any spinal implant, according to the company.
2. Point Robotics MedTech's Point Kinguide system received FDA 510(k) clearance in August. The robot has a handheld drilling system and navigation system to assist surgeons during implant surgery. The company plans to expand indications for other spine cases including herniated disc decompression.
3. Accelus, formed through the merger of Integrity Implants and Fusion Robotics in 2021, launched the Remi robotic navigation system for spine surgery. Vail-Summit (Colo.) Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery will be the first adopter of the robot, which uses camera technology with a wide angle of capture, flexible table-mounted positioning and a table-mounted robotic targeting arm for efficiency and accuracy during surgery.
As more spine robots hit the market and the next generations of legacy robots emerge, the cost of the technology is likely to come down and adoption will likely accelerate among surgeons and institutions around the country.