Under the terms of the agreement, Chindex will market and distribute the da Vinci Surgical System throughout the health care industry in China. Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci Surgical System is the first totally "intuitive" laparoscopic surgical robot. It was the first operative surgical robotic system cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is now used in more than 160 sites in the USA as well as many countries in Europe but has yet to be introduced in China.
Chindex President and CEO, Roberta Lipson commented from Beijing, stated: "The da Vinci Surgical System is a cutting edge technology that is redefining the world of minimally invasive surgery around the world, shortening the operating time and dramatically reducing post-operative complications in such important procedures as Cardiac By-Pass, Radical Prostatectomy and other life saving surgeries. We have begun discussions about placements of the system in the premier surgical centres around the country and the response is enthusiastic. The Chinese government is committed to supporting its major health care providers with the leading edge equipment at a world-class level."
Intuitive Surgical's Senior Vice President of Sales, Jerry McNamara stated: "Chindex is well recognized in the China market for bringing new top tier health care technologies to China. Our da Vinci system is changing the world of minimally invasive surgery. We believe the product is right for introduction in China at this time and Chindex is the right distributor for us."
Chindex is an American company operating in several health care sectors of the Chinese marketplace, including Hong Kong. It provides representative and distribution services to a number of major multinational companies including Siemens AG for ultrasound systems, and Guidant for interventional cardiology products including stents, balloon catheters and guide wires. Its distribution channels to the retail pharmacy industry in China have been developed through a relationship with a major multinational cosmetics manufacturer.
It also provides health care services through the operations of its private hospital corporation in China. With twenty-three years of experience, over 800 employees, and operations in the United States, China and Hong Kong, the company's strategy is to expand its cross-cultural reach by providing leading edge technologies, quality products and services to Greater China's professional communities.
Intuitive Surgical has established itself as an expert in operative surgical robotics. Through the development and commercialization of the da Vinci Surgical System, Intuitive Surgical is taking surgery beyond the limits of the human hand. Intuitive is creating technologies that not only enable surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgery (MIS) in a manner never before experienced, but also may aid in reducing trauma, post-operative pain and surgical complications for patients by operating with the flexibility of open surgery through tiny ports.
The FDA has cleared the system for use in performing many surgical procedures including general laparoscopic surgery, thoracoscopic or chest surgery, laparoscopic radical prostatectomies, and thoracoscopically assisted cardiotomy procedures. More company news is available in the VMW August 2004 article FDA clears Intuitive Surgical's robotic-like device for cardiac revascularization.