Paul Thomen

Thursday, 3 January 2013

New Market Report on Medical Robotics and Computer-Assisted Surgery Global Market

This report provides:

Identification and segmentation of the main types of Medical Robotics and Computer-Assisted Surgery (MRCAS) devices that have been commercialized to date

Analyses of global market trends, with data from 2011, estimates for 2012, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2017

Examination of the historical and current volume and value of shipments of each of these product segments in specified applications and geographical markets

Evaluation of the impact of demographic, economic, and other factors that will drive future demand for MRCAS devices

Forecasts of the volume and value of product shipments by equipment type and application

Identification of promising new surgical procedures and products still in the development and testing stage, and assess the probability that they will be commercialized successfully within the next five years

Comprehensive company profiles of major players.




Information technology plays a key role in an ever-widening range of human activities, including surgery. Computers, working in tandem with a variety of microprocessor-enabled equipment and instruments, support and facilitate the work of the surgeon and have brought a level of safety and precision to surgery that would have been inconceivable just a few years ago.

These computers, electronic equipment and instruments are referred to collectively as medical robotics and computer-assisted surgery (MRCAS) or, more dramatically, “the operating room of the future.” MRCAS is used in a growing number of operating rooms around the world, largely as a result of the growing popularity of minimally invasive surgical (MIS) techniques. Minimally invasive, or “keyhole” surgery is an alternative to traditional open-incision surgery in a growing number of procedures. MIS utilizes special instruments that can be inserted and manipulated through small incisions (sometimes no more than a few millimeters long) under remote optical or video guidance, greatly reducing patient trauma and recovery times.

The need to perform delicate surgical procedures safely in tight spaces where the surgeon cannot directly see has created a growing market for devices that act as extensions of the surgeon’s eyes and hands: remote imaging, data processing and feedback, and robotics. Meanwhile, MRCAS technology has been evolving, as have the medical and economic environments in which it is used. Populations are aging, increasing demand for a wide range of age-related surgical procedures such as heart and orthopedic surgery. Technological advances have expanded the range of surgical procedures that can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, making them accessible to even more people.

The structure of the hospital industry, the main user of MRCAS, is also changing as hospitals consolidate and other health care options such as walk-in surgical clinics become available to consumers. Private and government health insurers around the world are becoming more cost-conscious, forcing hospitals to re-evaluate their capital spending plans but strengthening the case for technologies that can reduce the cost of surgical procedures. Medical malpractice suits continue to be common in markets like the United States, so technologies that increase the precision and accuracy of surgery have obvious appeal.

In such a fast-moving field, there is a pressing need to develop and maintain an up-to-date base of market information in order to better understand the dynamics of the market for MRCAS devices and equipment.


This report is an updated and expanded version of an earlier (2011) BCC Research analysis of U.S. and global markets for MRCAS equipment. The updated report is based on the most recent market information available, and analyzes technological, economic and regulatory developments that may have a long-term impact on the size and structure of the MRCAS market. The new report also contains a more in-depth and detailed analysis of selected foreign markets than its predecessor offered.

More specific objectives of this report are to:
  • Identify and segment the main types of MRCAS devices that have been commercialized to date.
  • Analyze the historical and current volume and value of shipments of each of these product segments in specified applications and geographical markets.
  • Identify and evaluate the impact of demographic, economic and other factors that will drive future demand for MRCAS devices.
  • Forecast the volume and value of product shipments by equipment type and application and by probabilities that future demand will be higher or lower than the baseline forecast.
  • Identify promising new surgical procedures and products still in the development and testing stage and assess the probability that they will be commercialized successfully within the next five years.
  • Forecast the potential market for these developmental procedures and products, taking into account the estimated probability that they will be commercialized.
  • Identify leading manufacturers of the devices and analyze the structure of the MRCAS industry (e.g., market shares, concentration, and recent M&A activity).
  • Assess the long-term outlook for MRCAS equipment, taking into account market opportunities as well as technological, financial and economic factors.

This report has been written for the entire MRCAS interest community, especially those in:
  • The medical and surgical devices industry.
  • Medical research institutions.
  • Investing.
  • The financial and analyst community.
Although the report is structured around specific technologies, it is largely non-technical in nature. That is, it is concerned less with theory and jargon than with what works, how much of the latter the market is likely to purchase and at what price.

As such, the report’s main audience is executive management and marketing and financial analysts. It is not written specifically for scientists and technologists, although its findings insofar as the markets for their work, including the availability of government and corporate research funding for different technologies and applications, should interest them as well.


This report is an analytical business tool with the primary purpose of describing the MRCAS equipment industry and the global market for these devices. MRCAS equipment is defined as computer- or microprocessor-enabled devices and accessories that are physically situated in the operating room and directly assist the surgeon in planning and carrying out surgical procedures. Thus, the scope of the study does not include:
  • Devices that provide images and other information but are not an integral part of the MRCAS system, such as preoperative imaging (e.g., CT, MRI) equipment or laboratory and other analytical devices.
  • Computerized medical records systems.
  • Electronic operating room equipment such as heart monitors that enable the surgical team to monitor the patient’s condition but do not assist the surgeon directly in carrying out the operation.
  • Other nonelectronic operating room equipment.
The format of the study is organized around the following topics:
  • Major types and applications of MRCAS.
  • Industry structure.
  • Market size and segmentation, including historical data on sales by application, product type and geographical market.
  • Market drivers.
  • Detailed market projections through 2017.
  • Competition and market shares.
  • Observations and conclusions regarding the future of the MRCAS market.

Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this report. The findings and conclusions of this report are based on information gathered from manufacturers and users of MRCAS and other informed sources. Interview data was combined with information gathered through an extensive review of secondary sources such as trade publications, trade associations, company literature and online databases to produce the baseline market estimates contained in this report.

The base year for analysis and projection is 2011. With 2011 as a baseline, market projections were developed for 2012 to 2017. The market projections are “consensus” projections, obtained by averaging market scenarios obtained from industry and other sources or developed independently by BCC. The analytical methodologies BCC used to generate the market estimates are described in detail in the section on detailed market projections.

All dollar projections presented in this report are in 2011 constant dollars.


The author of this report is Andrew McWilliams. Mr. McWilliams, a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm of 43rd Parallel, LLC, is the author of several other BCC Research studies of the surgical and related medical devices markets, including the previous edition of this report; HLC051F – The Market for Minimally Invasive Medical Devices; HLC066B – Medical Automation Technologies, Products and Markets; HLC038C – Patient Monitoring; HLC016D – Microelectronic Medical Implants: Products, Technologies and Opportunities; HLC072B – Global Markets and Technologies for Medical Lasers; and HLC082A – Emerging Markets for Advanced Medical Technologies.

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