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Technology Is Enabling Remote Work In More And More Fields Could Surgery Be Next? Surgical Robot Maker Monogram Orthopedics (NASDAQ: MGRM) Believes So

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By Meg Flippin, Benzinga

From far-flung corners of the world to rural towns across America, remote, robotic surgeries have the potential to change the way doctors treat patients. Using advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, teleconferencing and the internet, doctors can perform everything from knee replacements to gastric bypass without ever leaving their healthcare facility.

That is already changing how care is delivered. Remote surgeries can provide cheaper and faster solutions improving the accessibility of high-quality surgical care, overcoming surgeon shortages and saving patients money by removing the need to travel long distances for healthcare.

Then theres the enhanced accuracy and improved outcomes surgeons can achieve by using robotics to perform surgeries that otherwise would be manual and subject to potential human error. Take knee replacements, for one example. As it stands, 88% of knee surgeries are still performed manually, opening patients up to errors that could require more treatment and care. The benefits dont end there. By using minimally invasive robotic methods, patients often see a reduction in complications, pain and infections. Not to mention, these methods can lead to faster recovery times and shorter hospital stays.

All of those positives havent been lost on the medical community and are driving demand for telesurgery. According to Research and Markets, the surgical robots market is poised to hit $7.3 billion by 2030, up from $6.4 billion in 2022 growing at a CAGR of 13.5% during the forecast period. The need for robotics can be found in every area of surgical care but seems particularly poised to grow in orthopedics. The orthopedic device market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% through 2030, reaching $80.28 billion, according to Fortune Business Insights. Driving the growth is a rising prevalence of osteoporosis and musculoskeletal diseases, an aging population and an increase in sports-related injuries. The technology and procedures used today are antiquated, and robots could help with an overhaul.

Monogram Demonstrates Its Prowess

When it comes to remote robotic surgery, many players are trying to advance this type of treatment care. One company that seems to be seeing success is Monogram Orthopedics Inc. (NASDAQ: MGRM), the Austin, Texas medical technology company aiming to revolutionize orthopedic joint replacement surgery with its robotic technology, which links 3D printing and robotics with advanced pre-operative imaging. The company is developing a robot that it believes could help improve the standard of care in orthopedics in the future. Accompanying the robot are what the company describes as its patient optimized mPress implants that the company believes, when combined with robotics, could help surgeons deliver personalized care.

Last year, the company made history by completing what it says is the first fully remote simulated robotic surgery in orthopedics. On March 7, 2023, Douglas Unis, MD of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and founder of Monogram Orthopedics, completed a fully remote total knee arthroplasty (TKA) procedure on a cadaver, controlling the Austin-based robot from New York City in real-time via the systems user-operated foot pedal. Unis said at the time that despite being 1,700 miles away, the real-time system was very responsive with little in the way of latency. The successful simulated cadaveric surgery was live-streamed for the world to see.

Internet Reliability On Display

To demonstrate the capabilities and ensure the surgery went off without a hitch, Monogram tapped Real-Time Innovations RTI Connext Anywhere software to provide real-time connectivity, which is extremely important for remote surgeries to be a success. To address the technical challenges of teleoperation, Monogram required a flexible software connectivity solution that was designed for distributed, secure and reliable data flow. Connext Anywhere, based on the Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard, accelerates the development of intelligent and connected platforms and provides a range of reliability features to optimize and prioritize real-time data flow over intermittent networks. That proved true during the remote surgery.

"A joint-replacement surgery is incredibly invasive, stressful and is still a largely manual process today, with 100,000 knee replacements failing each year," Kamran Shamaei, CTO at Monogram said at the time. "We feel strongly that our total knee replacement system, with RTI's underlying technology, could eventually help to dramatically reduce this number, hopefully helping patients to have a more stable, better-fitting knee replacement with fewer complications in a fraction of the time it takes today."

Its Just The Beginning

Since Monograms successful demonstration, the company has made inroads in bringing robotic surgeries to the mainstream. It recently announced it delivered its first surgical robot, mBs, to one of the worlds largest global robotics distributors. It marked the first sale for Monogram Orthopedics. In pre-clinical simulated cadaveric surgeries, Monograms robot was able to complete an orthopedic surgery in 40 minutes about half the time it has taken some systems today. The goal is to try and get surgical timed down to 20 minutes with the help of the companys recently announced mVIsion navigation.

Remote robotic surgeries are just taking off as companies like Monogram aim to revolutionize surgical care. Telesurgery has the potential to level the playing field, help surgeon adoption and potentially improve patient outcomes, and make treatment more accessible and affordable for people residing in even the most remote locations. Just like video conferencing transformed the way we communicate, telesurgery is poised to change the way doctors across the world perform surgeries. Monogram is positioning itself to play a major role in that revolution.

Featured photo by Piron Guillaume on Unsplash.

Benzinga is a leading financial media and data provider, known for delivering accurate, timely, and actionable financial information to empower investors and traders.

This post contains sponsored content. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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