Updated on 28 November 2012
Analyzing the growing space for robotic surgeries across Asia, Frost & Sullivan has reported that in Korea, since its introduction in 2005, more than 13,000 robotic surgeries have been performed till 2011. The country ranks second globally in terms of robot surgical devices.
In India, initially confined to chest surgeries (60 procedures performed as of 2010), healthcare players are exploring possibilities of such surgeries in urology and gastroenterology. In anticipation of the growing demand, Fortis plans to establish around 10 robotic surgery centers across the country by 2013.
"Minimally invasive surgeries are becoming more common across Asia, although the difference in capabilities varies across different countries. Hospitals in Japan, Australia, Singapore and South Korea are well-equipped to perform laparoscopic surgeries. In China and India, only the larger hospitals in tier 1 cities are able to offer advanced laparoscopic surgeries," says Mr Wilson Tan, director, Data Insights. "Clearstate estimates that 50 percent of colectomies are performed laparoscopically in these developed countries, compared with under 20 percent in the less developed countries. In contrast, basic procedures such as cholecystectomies are performed laparoscopically in over 90 percent of the surgeries in developed countries, as opposed to 50- 60 percent for the less developed countries."
Clearstate estimates the market for minimally invasive surgery devices is expected to grow at annual rates of over 15 percent, as "the benefits to the patient as well as the hospitals will continue to drive the demand", he says says.
Roadblocks in delivering healthcare smartly
However, there are challenges involved in delivering healthcare in a smarter way to public. Mr D Mishra, CEO of i2India Industry, points out that high price may not make technology affordable for mass market as most of the expenses are out of pocket. "However, new innovations require higher prices to initial customers," he says.