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Despite delays, Medtronic remains bullish on its robot system, Hugo


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Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha has a easy message for the skeptics: regardless of some bumps within the street, the robots are coming.

Whereas Hugo would possibly sound like a giant, fluffy canine character in an animated film, it is the identify Medtronic has given its surgical robotic system.

“We count on Hugo to ship double digit hundreds of thousands in gross sales this fiscal year, with a significant step-up subsequent fiscal 12 months,” Martha mentioned of the system earlier this week on the JPMorgan Health Care Convention.

Medtronic upset traders in November with information that its Hugo rollout was being delayed attributable to provide chain and manufacturing issues.

“Customer interest is extremely high,” Martha mentioned, concerning Hugo.

However it stays unclear when Hugo shall be out there to be used within the U.S., and the corporate will not be providing any forecasts at this level. The present gross sales are all coming from worldwide markets.

“Our order book continues to fill, we’re installing systems into new accounts, surgeons are using the system to perform complex surgeries,” Martha mentioned of Hugo, exterior the U.S.

Hugo is already being utilized in Chile, Panama and India. In October, the corporate obtained regulatory approval in Europe, the place methods are actually being delivered. It was lately authorized in Australia for urology procedures, and in Canada for each urology and gynecology.

Medtronic is getting ready to quickly begin a scientific trial for urologic use domestically. Medtronic might want to safe separate FDA approvals for every robotic surgical utility. “We expect to have the first surgery in our U.S. trial soon,” Martha mentioned.

The newest manufacturing delays boil all the way down to a single part briefly provide.

“We experienced a supply constraint on a sub-component of our Hugo robotic-assisted surgery system, which delayed shipments to customers in Europe,” mentioned Megan Rosengarten, president of Medtronic’s surgical robotics unit.

The corporate declined to determine the precise part however mentioned that shipments have resumed.

To keep up curiosity and momentum whereas awaiting the part, Medtronic despatched their European prospects surgeon consoles and simulators so they might start their robotics coaching earlier than their Hugo machine arrived, Rosengarten mentioned.

The gear’s full identify is the Hugo RAS System. RAS stands for robotic-assisted surgical procedure. The “Hugo” identify is trademarked.

Medtronic’s robotics system has been in use for lower than a 12 months. It was first used on a affected person seven months in the past, performing a robotic prostatectomy at a clinic in Santiago, Chile. About 50% of all robotic-assisted procedures, together with these carried out by Hugo, are in urology or gynecology—although Hugo will also be used for basic surgical procedure.

“FY23 will be a big year,” mentioned Rosengarten. “Demand is high and we’re building a strong list of hospitals that want … be among the first in the world to use the Hugo system. Surgeons continue to do cases and our order pipeline continues to grow.”

Regardless of analysts’ disappointment over Hugo’s delayed progress prospects, not less than one observer is bullish on the corporate’s general new product pipeline.

Medtronic “is unfolding the strongest innovation cycle in its history and is at the front-end of major launches that we think are underappreciated given recent setbacks,” wrote Shagun Singh, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, which initiated protection of Medtronic in December. “These opportunities are potentially transformational and likely to position (Medtronic) to deliver growth above its stated targets.”


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Regardless of delays, Medtronic stays bullish on its robotic system, Hugo (2022, January 13)
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