Immersion enters high-growth robotic surgery market

San Jose 04 May 2009MAKO Surgical Corporation, an innovator in robotically-assisted orthopaedic surgery, has obtained a worldwide license to Immersion's haptic patents for use in its orthopaedic robotic products. MAKO is the first surgical robotics licensee for Immersion.


Worldwide robotic markets amounted to $626,5 million in 2007, reached $1 billion in 2008, and are forecasted to achieve $14 billion by 2014 (Piribo). Building on its unique expertise and worldwide penetration in minimally invasive surgical advanced simulation, Immersion is deploying its TouchSense technology in partnership with surgical robotics industry innovators like MAKO to help meet the anticipated demand for programmable haptics in this rapidly growing market segment.

In effect, while converting from open to minimally invasive surgery, doctors are losing their ability to leverage their sense of touch during surgery. Market feedback indicates that haptics in robotically-assisted surgery is a key enabler for more accurate and intuitive surgery, and ultimately, safer patient outcome.

"MAKO shares our passion for delivering the finest, and most advanced user experience for surgeons and improved health care for patients", stated Clent Richardson, chief executive officer of Immersion. "As we work to make haptics a standard in the rapidly growing field of robotic surgery, partners like MAKO already see the value of touch feedback and how this measurably impacts both preparation and procedures to the great benefit of practitioners and patients alike."

"Haptic technology helps MAKO differentiate our products, allowing for better clinical outcomes through robotic-arm assisted orthopaedic surgeries that are challenging to consistently reproduce any other way", stated Maurice R. Ferré, M.D., president and chief executive officer of MAKO. "We are excited to partner with the industry leader in haptics to explore ways to enhance our surgical solutions."

Haptic (touch) technology is the future of user experience in digital devices. Founded in 1993, Immersion harnesses human touch to create user experiences that deliver a more compelling sense of the digital world. Using one of Immersion's adaptable high fidelity haptic systems, partners can achieve a competitive advantage and greater revenue opportunities with products that are more intuitive, satisfying, efficient, and safe. With Immersion technology, world-class companies can deliver improved user experiences in products such as widely popular video games, leading video console gaming systems, advanced automotive driver controls, and award-winning mobile phones.

Immersion manufactures its own line of medical simulators that incorporate touch technology. These virtual reality training tools, installed around the world, enable practitioners to improve their practice of sophisticated life-saving surgical procedures prior to operating on patients. With over 700 issued or pending patents in the United States and other countries, Immersion is a major innovator in touch-enabled user experiences that bring the digital universe to life. More company news is available in the VMW April 2009 article Immersion delivers first-ever haptic medical simulation for new lung cancer diagnostic procedure.

Source: Immersion Medical

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