In Asia, robots have been employed in healthcare to perform varying tasks. As in the U.S., autonomous machines can travel through surgical areas and patient rooms, using ultraviolet light to disinfect surfaces. During the pandemic, mobile robots in China have also been used to monitor people’s temperatures and deliver food. That way, human-to-human contact can be minimized.
However, when the topic of robots and healthcare comes up, it’s the image of robotic surgery that is usually conjured in people’s minds. When it comes to robotic surgery, one name stands out: Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG).
The device maker famous for its da Vinci surgical robots has established its dominance in the Western Hemisphere. Its machines for remote-operated urologic and colorectal surgery, gallbladder removal, hernia repairs, and even cardiothoracic surgery, as well as head and neck procedures, are the pride of many hospitals. As manufacturers in South Korea, China, and Japan begin to roll out rival machines, the company is pushing deeper into the Far East to stake its claim to the enormous opportunity ahead.