The biggest companies in the medical technology space are well-capitalized global players with a wide array of other businesses that support the expensive research and development costs of this new frontier.
PhonlamaiPhoto/iStockPhoto / Getty Images
As the health-care sector further embraces robotic tools to make surgeries less invasive and painful, opportunities abound for investors. This growing technology is leading to faster healing times and shorter hospital stays, which makes patients happier and gives health-care providers a way to contain rising costs.
Theres a multi-billion dollar potential for surgical robotics over the next 10 years, says Brandon Henry, a medical supplies and devices analyst with RBC Capital Markets in New York. Its going to be a growth market for a very long time and we are [only] in the early stages.
The notion of robots might conjure up images of the walking, talking machines found in science fiction movies. But medical robots are far simpler. Think of a Canadarm-like device performing repetitive tasks guided by a doctor. The tasks are relatively simple but are done safely, efficiently and accurately.
Story continues below advertisement
Canada has few heavyweights in the health-care sector and no large players in surgical and medical devices. Of the 10 companies included in the S&P/TSX Capped Health Care Index, half are cannabis companies while three are involved in assisted living and nursing homes.
Toronto-based Titan Medical Inc. (TDM-T) is a startup thats listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and is developing a surgical robot. It has interesting prospects, but no revenue yet.
So, investors have to look elsewhere. The United States dominates with the biggest public companies in the medical technology space. These are well-capitalized global players with a wide array of other businesses that support the expensive research and development costs of this new frontier. They pay dividends and their share prices offer conservative growth.
Mr. Henry says the U.S. is the biggest market for installations of medical robots, followed by Western Europe, Japan and China. In terms of the number of procedures performed each year, the U.S. and China rank first and second, respectively.
The machines are expensive and Canadian surgeons would like more of them. But theyre hard to come by in this country, says Dr. James Drake, surgeon-in-chief at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
Funding them in a not-for-profit system is challenging, he says, even though theres plenty of interest in robots because of their potential to improve lives.
These machines will enhance what surgeons can do, Dr. Drake says. They allow surgeons to concentrate on the important stuff and not be concerned about the things that machines do so much better.
Story continues below advertisement
Story continues below advertisement
As an example, Dr. Drake, who is a neurosurgeon, cites the surgical procedure for placing electrodes in an epilepsy patients brain. The electrodes must be placed precisely and the most common way to do it is by fitting a metal frame over the skull an apparatus developed 60 years ago. The frame has 15 electrodes, with each electrode having five adjustments for a total of 75 combinations.
They have to be absolutely correct; every adjustment has to be absolutely right, Dr. Drake says. As you can imagine, thats very challenging. The robot avoids all that. It goes in sequence exactly where you tell it to. It sounds very simple, but [this technology] solves a very important problem.
Mr. Henry says the use of robots in general surgery is growing by 15 to 20 per cent annually. They were introduced about a decade ago and the first procedures involved heart surgery, kidney ailments and prostate surgeries.
It started [with those surgeries] because theyre procedures with a narrow channel, [for which] you can use a robot for visualization. They allow surgeons to see things that would otherwise be difficult to see, he says.
Mr. Henry says robots have spread from general surgeries to hips and knees, with spinal surgery also growing. Each area has its own needs and the robots are developed specifically for each task.
But nothing is really automated at this point, he says. Surgeons are controlling the robotic arms at a console. The arms may have instruments attached, which can make incisions. If the surgeon strays from the optimal position, the robot will sense it and issue a warning.
Story continues below advertisement
The leader in general surgical robots is Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG-Q), which has a market capitalization of US$62.6-billion. Its one of the most profitable companies in our coverage universe, Mr. Henry says.
Medtronic PLC (MDT-N), the worlds largest medical device company, is second in this space. Medtronic has a market cap of US$144.1-billion and operates in 140 countries, but generates most of its sales and profits in the U.S. (The company is based in Dublin for tax purposes but its operational headquarters are in Minneapolis.)
In third, he says, is New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson Services Inc. (JNJ-N), which has teamed up with Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL-Q) to create Verb Surgical Inc. Verb Surgical combines Johnson & Johnsons tools with Alphabets data analytics, but has no revenue yet. Other players include Stryker Corp. (SYK-N), a leader in hip and knee surgery, and Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc. (ZBH-N) of Warsaw, Ind.
The next frontier is the early detection and treatment of lung cancers, avoiding the painful surgery now required to treat them, Mr. Henry says. Probes with cameras are commonly used and take biopsies. Whats coming is the ability to remove cancerous tissue and cauterize the wound.
Thats the hope in the next five years, he says.
As for Dr. Drake, hes not worried about being replaced by a machine any time soon.
Story continues below advertisement
Its a long way off if it ever comes at all, he says.
Adam Mayers is a contributing editor to the Internet Wealth Builder investment newsletter.
- Can you trust mHealth apps? Why transparency is a must - American Medical Association - November 18th, 2019
- Nisonic Demonstrates Automatic Measurements of Optic Nerve Sheath Diameter as a Marker for Increased Intracranial Pressure Using Transorbital... - November 18th, 2019
- How Is Nanotech Reshaping the Medical Technology Sector? - Medical Tech Outlook - November 18th, 2019
- David Crais of CMG Carealytics Invited to NASA Cross Industry Innovation Summit - Benzinga - November 18th, 2019
- Shadowless Lamps Market will be grow in the upcoming year with players Greetmed, Aeomed, Mindray, BenQ Medical Technology - Daily Market Insight - November 18th, 2019
- Global Oxygen Regulator Market Insights Report 2019-2025 : Precision Medical, Harris, Essex Industries, Acare Technology - Industry News Time 24 - November 18th, 2019
- Research Roundup: Peanut allergies, heart disease treatments and wearable technology - The Stanford Daily - November 18th, 2019
- Private health insurers accused of lying about costs to raise premiums - 7NEWS - November 18th, 2019
- Title Wearable technology in healthcare: What are the leading themes? - Medical Device Network - November 18th, 2019
- ITM and CIRC Sign Technology License Agreement for the Production and Distribution of Medical Radioisotopes in China - Business Wire - November 18th, 2019
- Freudenberg Medical Achieves Break-through in Measurement Technology for Silicone Tubes with Helix iMC - Business Wire - November 12th, 2019
- Bridging the gap: Using technology to maintain patient contact - Medical Economics - November 12th, 2019
- Want to know your mental health status? There's an app for that - CU Boulder Today - November 12th, 2019
- Gets Its Catalyst And Trades Up::Creative Medical Technology Holdings Inc, (OTC US:CELZ) - News Planets - November 12th, 2019
- The Russian Military Will Soon Assign Soldiers Based on Their "Genetic Passports" - The National Interest Online - November 12th, 2019
- Hospital Furnitures Market Strategic Insights 2019 with analysis of Leading players: Stryker, Bio Medical Solutions, GPC Medical, Chang Gung Medical... - November 12th, 2019
- Is Computer-Vision the New Ground-Breaking Technology in the... - Medical Tech Outlook - November 12th, 2019
- BD Submits Pre-Market Approval Supplement to FDA for BD Onclarity HPV Test with Extended Genotyping Capabilities - PRNewswire - November 12th, 2019
- Rumor Claims Olympus will Shut Down Its Camera Division Within a Year - PetaPixel - November 12th, 2019
- InVivo Therapeutics Announces Appointment of Robert Rosenthal to Board of Directors - OrthoSpineNews - November 12th, 2019
- Global Cardiology Information System (CIS) Market Key Players and Share by 2025| CREALIFE Medical Technology and others - Market News Reports - November 12th, 2019
- How to have the right sensor for your medical IoT job - Medical Design & Outsourcing - November 12th, 2019
- Synaptive Ventures To the Spinal Surgery Market with Modus V - Medical Tech Outlook - November 12th, 2019
- Why DuPont will be at both Medica and Compamed - Medical Plastics News - November 12th, 2019
- Insights from Cathy Burzik's 40 years in the healthcare industry - Medical Design & Outsourcing - November 10th, 2019
- New Stanford hospital to open one week from today - Scope - November 10th, 2019
- Community Bank of Raymore Takes Position in Stryker Co. (NYSE:SYK) - Polson News - November 10th, 2019
- Cannabis industry is drawing big-name investors in R.I. - The Providence Journal - November 10th, 2019
- Avita Medical share price on watch after being added to the ASX 200 - Yahoo Finance - November 10th, 2019
- Head to Head Survey: Apyx Medical (NASDAQ:APYX) and AdvanSource Biomaterials Corpration (NASDAQ:ASNB) - Riverton Roll - November 10th, 2019
- Why Medicine Needs a New Hippocratic Oathand What It Should Be - Singularity Hub - November 8th, 2019
- Global SMT Equipment Market 2019-2023: Progression in Self-Driven Cars, Growth in Medical Technology, Increasing Smart Home Spending, Budding... - November 8th, 2019
- How Is the Medical Industry Using Deep Learning? - Business.com - November 8th, 2019
- Latest trends in medical monitoring devices and wearable health technology - Business Insider India - November 8th, 2019
- American Headache Society Publishes Article Demonstrating the Promise of Remote Electrical Neuromodulation (REN) as First-Line Treatment for Acute... - November 8th, 2019
- Townsen Memorial Clinics Now Open in Houston and Humble - PR Web - November 8th, 2019
- Compamed 2019: Everything you need to know - Medical Plastics News - November 8th, 2019
- CannGoods bridging the gap between hemp growers and off-take customers with its new tech - Proactive Investors USA & Canada - November 8th, 2019
- Conformis Announces FDA Clearance and Full Commercial Launch of Next Generation Hip System at the 2019 AAHKS Conference - OrthoSpineNews - November 8th, 2019
- EMMAC Life Sciences expanding on its medical cannabis acquisitions in London, Portugal, and Spain - Proactive Investors USA & Canada - November 8th, 2019
- A snapshot of the global patent landscape in eight charts - IAM - November 8th, 2019
- Olympus Now the Exclusive Distributor of the RocaFlow Pump and Tubing Sets - The Reporter - November 5th, 2019
- Adam Ferrari Highlights the Treatments and Medical Technology for Spinal Injuries utilized by Next Steps of Chicago - PRUnderground - November 5th, 2019
- Axonics Responds to Patent Action by Medtronic - Business Wire - November 5th, 2019
- Four-Year Data From the IN.PACT Global Study Highlight Durable Performance and Safety of IN.PACT Admiral DCB - Vascular Disease Management - November 5th, 2019
- The 10 Luxury Wellness Escapes You'll Want to Book for 2020 - TownandCountrymag.com - November 5th, 2019
- Detection Technology Awarded ISO 13485-2016 Certification for Medical Flat Panel Detectors - Imaging Technology News - November 5th, 2019
- Europe Pacemakers Market to 2027 - Regional Analysis and Forecasts By Product Type, Technology, End User, and Country - ResearchAndMarkets.com -... - November 5th, 2019
- Cardiac Monitoring (CM) & Cardiac Rhythm Management (CRM) Devices Market Opportunities to 2024 - World Market Projected to Exceed $25 Billion by... - November 5th, 2019
- RAD Technology Medical Systems Collaborates with Vanguard Healthcare Solutions to Bring Mobile Radiotherapy to Europe - P&T Community - November 5th, 2019
- Misonix to Participate in Three Upcoming Investor Conferences - Associated Press - November 5th, 2019
- NYC Marathon Runners Turning To Intensive Medical Technology To Reach Peak Performance - CBS New York - October 28th, 2019
- Judge to hear motion aiming to temporarily shut down Newton County plant - CBS46 News Atlanta - October 28th, 2019
- 3Ms Shares Could Cross $200 Next Year Thanks To Acelity Acquisition - Forbes - October 28th, 2019
- Neuronetics and Success TMS Partner to Increase Patient Access to Leading Depression Treatment, NeuroStar Advanced Therapy - The Courier-Express - October 28th, 2019
- Medical Device Security Market Growth Analysis 2019 to Share Key Aspects of the Industry with the details of Influence Factors Forecast to 2024 -... - October 28th, 2019
- Where Are The Medical CIOs Investing? - Medical Tech Outlook - October 28th, 2019
- What We Know About the Man Accused of Stabbing His Mother to Death in a Plainville Kitchen - NBC10 Boston - October 28th, 2019
- Medical billing is a nightmare, but start-up Ooda is working to make it way easier, and some insurers are optimistic - CNBC - October 28th, 2019
- 10 Medical Advances That Will Shape the Future of Healthcare - Discover Magazine - October 28th, 2019
- OraSure simplifies medical testing worldwide. Why the CEO says theyre still based in Bethlehem. - lehighvalleylive.com - October 28th, 2019
- The real horror this Halloween is the FDA's drug approval process | TheHill - The Hill - October 28th, 2019
- These Apps Say You May Have a Health Disorder. What if Theyre Wrong? - The New York Times - October 28th, 2019
- Private health insurers say cost of medical devices putting pressure on premiums - The Guardian - October 28th, 2019
- Misonix to Report Fiscal 2020 First Quarter Financial Results and Host Conference Call and Webcast on November 7 - GlobeNewswire - October 28th, 2019
- GTX merges with NeuroRecovery Technologies to form GTX medical BV - Medical Device Network - October 28th, 2019
- The Future of Proton Beam Therapy - Nature World News - October 28th, 2019
- X-Ray Detectors Market Report Extensive Analysis 2019 | Specified by Production, Technology, Competition, and Revenue Forecast till 2024 - Elamal News - October 28th, 2019
- PhenoMx executes MOU to develop strategic initiatives for Thailand's biotech, life sciences and medical industries - The New Economy - October 28th, 2019
- Why collaboration is key for the medtech industry to deliver life-saving innovations - create digital - October 28th, 2019
- Members Move Medicine: Tackling the underlying barriers to care - American Medical Association - October 28th, 2019
- Microspheres Market 2019 | Remarkable Growth Factors with Industry Size & Share, New Innovations of Leading Players & Forecast till 2024 -... - October 28th, 2019
- Safe Orthopaedics Announces the Approvals of SteriSpine LC and CC in Japan - Business Wire - October 28th, 2019
- Axonics Broadens EU Commercial Footprint with Recommendation for Reimbursement in France and Supply Contract in Norway - Business Wire - October 7th, 2019
- Medtronic Initiates Worldwide Pivotal Study of a New Approach to Treating Dangerously Fast Heart Rhythms - GlobeNewswire - October 7th, 2019
- TE Connectivity Collaborates With Hanhaa and Avnet to Advance Smart Tracking - PRNewswire - October 7th, 2019
- CONMED Corporation to Announce Third Quarter 2019 Financial Results on October 30, 2019 - BioSpace - October 7th, 2019
- UI graduate student works to commercialize drug that prevents osteoarthritis - UI The Daily Iowan - October 7th, 2019
- Medical Technologist Job in Multiple Locations - Department of the Air Force - LemonWire - October 7th, 2019
- Artificial Joints Market Research and New Innovations in Medical Sector 2019 to 2025 - The Chicago Sentinel - October 7th, 2019