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New Report Details DePuy Synthes' Orthotaxy Surgical Robot

Posted on April 08, 2019 by Medtech[y] Staff

The Orthotaxy surgical robot prototype was acquired by Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Synthes in 2018 and the the company has done a good job keeping the information light up to this point. At the 2019 AAOS Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Medical Design & Outsourcing, was able get a peak at the most recent version of the prototype.

What we learned:

  1. Unlike other surgical robotic systems that take up a decent portion of a surgical suite, the Orthotaxy is actually the size of a shoebox and attaches to the operating table.
  2. In addition to having a smaller form factor, the Orthotaxy system will be less expensive than other surgical robots on the market.
    1. While no information was given on the list price or initial capital spend for a hospital, they did learn that the system will not use disposable instruments which could end up saving the facility between $1,500 to $2,500 per procedure.
    2. One interesting piece of information learned is that a technician will not be required to run the system as the system is easy to use. Time will tell here as there may be a short learning curve to get the initial cases going. If no technician is needed, it does make you wonder how sales reps fit into the equation for the Orthotaxy system.

3. Without the requirement for a CT, the Orthotaxy system will design the surgery plan and lock the saw into plane allowing the surgeon to cut on his own. Liam Rowlet, VP of R&D for knees at DePuy elaborated, “There are no blocks required. There’s no pinning required,” Rowley said. “We saw this as what the world actually needs. This is bed-mounted. It’s not a huge device that sits on the floor.”

4. According to analysts who were interviewed for the article, the Orthotaxy robot most likely launch in 2020 for knee surgery, with spine, hip, and shoulder indications to follow.

DePuy Synthes Vision for Robotics and Digital Surgery

With so many of the current and upcoming surgical robotic devices having a larger form factor than most operating room employees would prefer, the Orthotaxy system could be met with open arms if the device performs well. Additionally, while there is no indication what the capital costs will be for the system, removing the disposable component of surgeries could have a positive impact on helping reduce overall costs for orthopedic procedures.

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