Wednesday night I logged in to watch the live webcast of MAKO Surgical Corporation (MAKO) business update presented at the 28th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. Coming off of a 2009 year that saw a doubling of both the install base and the number of total procedures performed with the MAKO Rio System--a surgeon-guided robotic arm system designed to assist orthopedic surgeons with precision bone removal and implant placement during partial knee arthroplastyprocedures--MAKO executives are confident the company is well-positioned for continued growth in 2010.
In 2009, MAKO replaced all "TGS" systems (17) with the MAKO Rio System--a platform that improves upon the orginial model by allowing for development of new applications--and now the company has 36 systems placed across the US. Currently, 126 surgeons are trained to use the MAKO Rio System. Total procedure volumes grew 35 percent quarter over quarter in 2009, bringing the number of partial knee replacements completed with MAKO to 2,384 at the close of last year. Company executives estimate the existing platform can penetrate up to 50 percent of the existing knee replacement market (as many as 350,000 cases annually). As the orthopedic industry is slowly becoming more accepting of robotic technology, your institution may face the challenge of considering an investment in a high dollar technology with no incremental reimbursement and no guarantee of a positive financial return.
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