Four categories of medical robots
According to PwC, medical robots can be sorted into four categories: surgical robot, rehabilitation robot, auxiliary robot and service robot.
Surgical robot can be used for intraoperative imaging guidance and minimally invasive surgery. In the moment, most surgical robots are controlled by a surgeon. The advantages of surgical robots include accurate operation, small patient wounds, less bleeding and short time duration.
Rehabilitation robot assists and treats disabled, elderly, and inconvenient people. Not only could rehabilitation robot promote the functional reorganization compensation and regeneration of the nervous system, effectively alleviate muscle atrophy and atrophy, but also partly release rehabilitation physicians from overwhelming physical labor and thereby optimizes the healthcare resources.
Auxiliary robot is designed to receive, process sensory information and respond to the user’s physical or mental needs. Auxiliary robot will contribute to ease the contradiction between supply and demand of healthcare resources, especially medical staff.
Service robot normally refers to disinfection robot, pharmacy automation etc. Service robots will significantly help health care workers to share some heavy, cumbersome transport work, improve the efficiency of health care workers.
Computer Assisted Surgery (CAS), represented by surgical robots, has a very promising market potential due to the optimal surgical pathways, minimal surgical injuries, high surgical accuracy and best surgical results. While international giant Intuitive Surgical Inc. impresses the world with Da Vinci Surgical System, China’s own manufacturers contribute to huge progress in the research and development of medical robot as well.
Three reasons why medical robot has great potential in China
Aging population: Senior population aged 60 and over enlarged at an annual rate of 56% around the world. Disease, disability, and the number of people with reduced mobility keep growing, resulting in an increasing demand for medical care and rehabilitation.
Unsatisfied demand for healthcare professionals: Reported by WHO, by 2035, there will be a shortage of about 12,900,000 health care workers around the world. The demand for medical staff cannot be met, thus promoting the future use of medical robots.
High-quality medical care: According to Tradin Economics’s forecast model, China’s per capita disposable income will increase by 41% by 2020. People’s mind will change alongside with the increase level in disposable income, and medical robots will be gradually accepted by the public.
A brief introduction of China’s domestic medical robot manufacturers
In China, there are almost 30 domestic manufacturers in the industry of medical robots nowadays. Of them, about 36% focuses on rehabilitation robot. The second largest category is surgical robot, which counts for around 28%. Then come auxiliary robot and service robot, each of 18%. Below is a brief introduction of China’s four largest medical robot manufacturers.
SiaSun was found in 2000 and went public on Oct 30,2009 at Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE). Headquartered in Liaoning province, the company is dedicated to the development of digital intelligent manufacturing equipment, such as industrial robot, intelligent logistics, automation equipment, clean equipment, laser technology and equipment, rail transportation, energy saving and environmental protection equipment, energy equipment, special equipment and intelligent service robot. The kind of medical robot Siasun develops is mainly auxiliary robot, such as DELTA robot that picks up product using visual positioning.
Truking was found in 2002 and went public on January 21, 2014 at SZSE. The company provides intelligent pharmaceutical overall solution, promotes the research and development of wisdom pharmaceutical factory and introduces robot sterilization logistics system and packaging production line into the production of sterile lyophilized preparation, ampoule water needle preparation and sterile powder formulation etc.
Found in 2005, Beijing Tinavi became listed at National Equities Exchange and Quotations in November 2015. The company designs, develops and manufactures cutting-edge minimally invasive robot-assisted surgical systems and complementary products. Orthopedic medical robot is Tinavi’s core business, along with a series of modular intelligent auxiliary equipment, to fulfill the construction of clean, digital, intelligent surgical environment and provide intelligent minimally invasive surgery center overall engineering solutions.
Based in Henan province, SFRobot focuses on rehabilitation robots since 2010. SFRobot is mainly engaged in the research and development of limb function rehabilitation and evaluation equipment. The main products include serialized and unitary rehabilitation robot of upper and lower limb applied to patients who suffer from physical motor dysfunction caused by stroke, surgery, trauma. SFRobot’s rehabilitation training and evaluation equipment serves comprehensive hospital, rehabilitation specialty hospital and community rehabilitation center.
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