The new device, called the da Vinci surgical robot, boasts a number of advantages over traditional surgical techniques. The da Vinci allows a surgeon to operate from a “cockpit”, controlling foot pedals, levers and joysticks to maneuver precise surgical arms and instruments. Surgeons can use the device to reach difficult areas of the body without the need for open surgery, or to perform procedures too complex for traditional surgical instruments. Every surgical sales rep should be aware of the da Vinci’s key selling points, which include decreased patient complications, recovery time and length of hospital stay, according to Intuitive Surgical, the da Vinci’s manufacturer.
Though several of these claims are disputed by a number of prominent surgeons, there is no arguing with the raw numbers. By 2009, over 200,000 robotic assisted surgeries had been performed with the da Vinci. Nearly 1000 hospitals nationwide are outfitted with at least one unit and current sales numbers suggest there are over 2000 active units in the country. Patients are asking for robotic surgery and seeking out robotically equipped facilities in record numbers. Sales opportunities for this new technology are becoming more and more frequent, as are the available surgical sales jobs related to robotic medical technology.
The da Vinci currently lacks any serious competition in the robotic surgery sector; however, that is expected to change in the near future. Titan Medical, Inc. is set to release its Amadeus System in the next few years. The Amadeus will compete directly with the da Vinci and is expected to offer lower costs and a broader range of capabilities. Surgical sales reps, or those seeking a career in surgical sales, would do well to recognize the rising trend in robotic surgical devices in development.