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The Massive Profit Potential in Robotic Surgical Procedures

The Massive Profit Potential in Robotic Surgical Procedures

Story Highlights:

  • The number of robotic surgical procedures grew 68% annually from 2013 to 2017.
  • By 2020, the number of robotic surgery patients in the U.S. will grow to 41 million — a 25% increase from $33 million in 2013.
  • Profit potential: With a market of about 95% of the world’s population, there’s a lot of untapped opportunity here.

Robots are not likely to replace doctors — not anytime soon, anyway.

But robot-assisted surgeries and exams are quickly replacing traditional procedures.

That’s beneficial for two reasons. The first is that it means more precise surgical procedures and operations. The second, which is a lot more serious, is it reduces the risk for human error.

Right now, 9.5% of American hospital deaths happen because someone messed something up. Medical error is actually the third-leading cause of death in the United States.

They’re not all related to surgery, but that number will be far fewer once we have more widespread use of automation in health care.

Right now, one of the fastest-growing areas of automation in health care is “robotic surgery.” That might sound like some kind of mad science, but it’s proving to be very useful. And as the technology stands today, there’s still a physician controlling the “arms” of the robot, as you can see in this image

Essentially, surgeons use a tiny camera to see inside the patient, which gives them a better view than traditional surgery. Meanwhile, they sit at a control panel to move the robotic arms, using these close-up views.

As a result, they have a better view, better dexterity and better overall control of the situation. Now this industry is set to take off.

Between 2013 and 2017, the number of robotic surgical procedures grew 68% annually.

By 2020, the number of robotic surgery patients in the U.S. will grow to 41 million — a 25% increase from 33 million in 2013.

And today, I’m going to tell you about the best way to tap into this revolution. This year alone, it’s already up nearly 30%, with no signs of slowing down. Here’s why…

The 1 Innovative Machine Creating Safer Surgeries

The robotic surgery market is mostly made up of one machine, called da Vinci. You can think of the company as the Amazon of health care, a true first mover and innovator that is changing the game for doctors and patients alike.

Just like Amazon and e-commerce now mean pretty much the same thing, so do robotic surgery and da Vinci. After being approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000, da Vinci’s robotic surgical technology has taken off, with its popularity skyrocketing.

At the end of March, 5,114 da Vinci systems were installed all over the world, almost half of which have come in the past five years. And altogether, these systems have performed over 6 million procedures.

They can do dozens of procedures, including gynecologic, urological and cardiothoracic procedures, general surgery and head and neck specialties.

But the best part is that this method of surgery only has a 3% complication rate. This, combined with the minimal level of invasiveness from the surgeon, means there’s a much shorter recovery time.

In fact, most patients who opt for this type of procedure can leave the hospital within 24 hours of the surgery. Some can even leave the same day.

Clearly, the benefits of robotic surgery are great from the patient’s perspective. But from an investor’s standpoint, the growth in this industry is extremely promising.

Da Vinci systems being used globally have grown over 25% in the past two years. But because this technology is so young, the real growth is still yet to come.

Of the 5,114 da Vinci systems that have been installed, fewer than 2,000 are outside the United States. That’s a market of about 95% of the world’s population, where there’s a lot of untapped opportunity.

By one estimate, the market is projected to grow 208% from 2017 to 2023, but I think that’s a conservative estimate.

Tap Into the Rise of Robots in the Operating Room

The company that makes da Vinci systems was clearly the trendsetter here, but in the past few years, a number of other players have entered the market. That’s also good from an investor’s standpoint.

There’s a race to be the best and safest in the market, so new hospitals and health care centers will rush in to get the highest-quality systems. This will only improve the technology, making the robots more appealing for operating rooms.

So, it’s only a matter of time before it really catches on in other countries, which is where we’ll see enormous growth going forward.

To invest in this today, I’d recommend buying shares of the iShares U.S. Medical Devices ETF (NYSE: IHI). This exchange-traded fund (ETF) holds shares of 55 companies involved in all sorts of new medical technology, and some of its top holdings are leaders in the robotic surgery field.


Ian Dyer

Editor, Rapid Profit Trader

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