Age of robots: Meet Mako, the hip/knee surgeon developbed by US firm

  • Himani Chandna, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 01, 2016 10:42 IST
Soon robots like this might replace surgeons in complicated hip and knee replacement surgeries. (HT Archive)

Imagine a world where robots replace surgeons in an operation theatre.

American medical device giant, Stryker Corporation, is set to woo the Indian market with its robot, Mako, which is equipped to do just that.

Mako, which costs $1.5 million to $2 million (Rs 10-13 crore) in India, is the only robot in the world that can perform joint replacement procedures, according to the company.

“We have sold over 300 such robots across the globe. In India, we aim to sell about 40 robots in the next five to six years,” Kevin Lobo, one of the lesser known India-born CEOs of a global corporation, told HT.

“Mako will be a game-changer for us. It is a disruptive technology. The precision produced with Mako is beyond human capacity as it enables movement of implant (knee or hip) within millimetres,” Lobo added.

At present, machines such as the four-armed Da Vinci allow surgeons to operate with greater precision.

Known for its premium offerings in medical devices, Stryker, a $10-billion company, has a one-eyed focus to push growth in the Indian market.

“Slowing growth in Brazil, China and Russia has pushed more of our investments into India. At present, it is the most exciting market across the globe. We plan to launch about 20 new products here this year,” Lobo said.

The affordable range will include pelvic reconstruction plates, value-series hospital beds and power tools, among other devices.

Emerging markets currently represent close to 8% of company’s sales. “We would expect emerging markets to contribute at least 12-14% over the next five to six years” Lobo added.

According to a report by the US-India Business Council, the Indian medical device industry was valued at $4.4 billion in 2015, the fourth largest in Asia, with a potential to grow at 10-15% annually to $7 billion by 2016.

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