Despite investor and medical practitioner interest in robot-assisted surgery, success is not a foregone conclusion for surgical robotics startups, notes Dwight Meglan, founder and chief technology officer at HeartLander Surgical. It is not enough to identify an unmet need in the operating room that automation could satisfy, he says.
For example, how can you stand out if you have chosen a subspecialty that is already served by multiple surgical robots? Do you have a defensible patent position with a long-term strategy to strengthen it? Or do you know for certain how you will make money in the highly regulated world of healthcare robotics? These are just some of the many questions surgical robotics startups must ask, Meglan says.
Business schools and incubators can provide guidance to surgical robotics startups. But given the sector-specific medical, regulatory, and financial factors that can impede the development and commercialization of surgical systems, startups often do not have much prior experience to rely on, according to Meglan. That is one reason why there has been only been a handful of market and financial successes to date, even though there are more than 250 commercial efforts spanning nearly all aspects of surgery and procedural medicine.
In his RoboBusiness Direct session at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, Meglan will discuss various critical factors and strategies for success based on his experience with five surgical robotics startups.
About RoboBusiness Direct
RoboBusiness Direct is an ongoing series of digital events delivered by brightest minds from the leading robotics and automation organizations around the world. The series complements continuing coverage and analysis in Robotics Business Review, a sibling site to Collaborative Robotics Trends.
RoboBusiness Direct is designed to impart to business and engineering professionals the information they need to identify market opportunities, successfully develop and deploy the next generation of commercial robotics systems, and accelerate their businesses.
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About Dwight Meglan
Dwight Meglan is founder and chief technology officer of HeartLander Surgical, a developer of an epicardial locomotion and navigation system to treat cardiac arrhythmias. He is a lifelong practicing engineer who has focused on developing medical systems and devices.
Previously, Meglan worked at Medtronic, Simquest, and other companies making contributions to a variety of surgical robots, image guidance systems, minimally invasive vision systems, haptic user interfaces, and other technologies. All told, he has worked on five commercial surgical robotics startups, as well as at large enterprises as an individual contributor.
Meglan has also served in planning and leadership roles. He currently divides his time between his own surgical robotics startup and consulting on a variety of projects.