Upward trend in robotic-assisted surgery may be disrupted by virtual reality

April 30, 2022

1 min read

Source/Disclosures

Source:

Fagin R. Robotics in orthopedics: Improved outcomes or marketing tool. Presented at: Interdisciplinary Conference on Orthopedic Value-Based Care; April 29-30, 2022; Newport Beach, Calif.

Disclosures: Fagin reports being an employee of HCA Healthcare.


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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — A health care organization with nationwide sites at which robotic-assisted orthopedic surgery is performed has seen key increases in the use of this technology, the organization’s chief medical officer said.

At the Interdisciplinary Conference on Orthopedic Value-Based Care, here, Randy Fagin, MD, chief medical officer – national group of HCA Healthcare, said among the 183 hospitals in the HCA Healthcare system, about 88,000 hip and knee replacements are performed annually, not including those performed at the system’s 125 ASCs.

According to Fagin, “Physicians who use robotics are growing faster, 36% year-over-year case growth vs. 7% for those who are not using robotics.”

Randy Fagin

Randy Fagin

In addition, “We are also seeing a difference in their revenue; 37% managed care mix for physicians who are using robotics vs. 30% that don’t,” he said.

Interestingly, this upward trend in the adoption of robotic-assisted surgery in orthopedics is occurring even though “we’re still in the early adoption phase,” Fagin said, noting there is one caveat to the growth and revenue increases he discussed.

When more robotic-assisted surgery is performed by more orthopedic surgeons and this type of surgery becomes the “standard of care…this advantage goes away,” he said.

Another factor that may be disruptive to robotics is augmented reality (AR), Fagin said. “Augmented reality is, I believe, going to be disruptive to robotics, massively disruptive. It is going to come on slow.”

However, because AR is a innovation, “it’s going to hit a dynamic growth disruptive curve” by a logarithm rise in utilization, until such time that the utilization levels out and become commoditized, Fagin said.

“We’re going to hit a logarithmic rise in utilization of augmented reality in hip and knee replacement and it will disrupt the robotic marketplace,” he said.

Among the reasons he cited for this eventual change from surgery using robotics to surgery using AR are lower capital and service costs for AR surgery “and nearly zero footprint in my hospitals and my ASCs.”

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