Revenues in the robotic surgery market are expected to be down by nearly 8% in 2020, according to analytics firm GlobalData.

The impact of Covid-19 led to many robotics-led elective procedures either being delayed or cancelled earlier in the year, decreasing the global demand for these technologies.

US company Intuitive Surgical, which leads the market with its robot-assisted Da Vinci surgical system, is expected to feel the biggest revenue loss, while other medical device heavyweights like Stryker, Smith & Nephew and Medtronic will take a less severe hit financially.

Eric Chapman, medical devices analyst at GlobalData, said: “GlobalData estimates an overall reduction of 7.7% of revenue for robotic surgical systems by the end of 2020, compared to previous forecasts before the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2.

“In Q1 2020, elective procedures were postponed in the US from around mid-March – however, this had not yet impacted the sales of robotic surgical systems.

“By Q2 2020, as the number of new Covid-19 cases had reached a peak and many procedures had been cancelled or postponed, the market was down approximately 20.6%.”


Signs of recovery in global robotic surgery market

Initially, GlobalData had anticipated an overall revenue reduction of 15% in the third quarter of this year compared to pre-pandemic predictions.

It is now estimating, however, that the robotic surgery market will begin to gradually recover from this coronavirus-related slump in Q3 2020 – as many elective procedures are rescheduled.

Despite this optimism, a resurgence of new Covid-19 cases, which is currently being seen in the UK and France, may yet lead to further delays surrounding elective procedures, and result in another downturn in robotic surgery revenues.

“By Q4 2020, GlobalData anticipates the start of a ‘surge period’ for the robotic surgical systems market, to make up for sales that were postponed earlier in the year,” Chapman said.

“However, this surge will not be enough to offset revenue losses until the end of 2021 or early 2022.”