Robot-Assisted Surgery: Why It’s Growing Fast & It’s Impact on Hiring

In recent years, the fastest-growing area in medical technology has been surgical robotics. With game-changing technological advancements in both robotics and AI, as well as overwhelming venture capital investment pouring into research and development, the market for surgical robotics has become crowded and fiercely competitive.

Why is the emerging field growing so fast? Let’s start with what it is.

What is Robot-Assisted Surgery

Robot-assisted surgery enables surgeons to perform various procedures with increased precision, control, and flexibility when compared to conventional surgical techniques. Robot-assisted surgery provides surgeons with greater visibility during an operation, leading to far-less invasive procedures.

For example, a traditional gallbladder procedure makes a three to four-inch incision, keeps patients at the hospital for a few days, then requires two to three weeks of at-home recovery. The same procedure aided by a robotic instrument has an incision the size of a pencil point, and the patient can return home that day.

Explosive Growth of Robot-Assisted Surgery

Whenever a medical technology can lead to patients spending less time in the hospital and lower the cost of care, you can expect significant growth and widespread implementation. The engineering and technology driving robot-assisted surgery have advanced tremendously in the last five years, and all indications suggest that it will continue to grow.

A recent Accenture report on artificial intelligence in healthcare cited that the AI healthcare market was valued at $600M in 2014. By 2021, they project that number to grow to $6.6B. By 2026, the report forecasts that number climbing to a staggering $150B, with robot-assisted surgery accounting for the largest portion with a $40B value.

With a projected market value climb that steep, it’s no surprise that venture capital money has been pouring into research and development, causing a competitive race for talent.

Impact on Hiring

When the topic of artificial intelligence and robotics comes up in a hiring context, the common public response is that the technologies will take jobs. That is true in some sectors, such as manufacturing, but in healthcare, these new technologies are causing a demand for talent who are familiar with them.

It’s important to note that surgical robotics are not fully autonomous—at least not yet. Until they are, surgeons and technicians who understand the technology and can train others are in high demand. There’s also a high demand on the research and development side of the exploding industry, particularly for mechanical engineers, software engineers, hardware engineers, electrical engineers, systems engineers, and roboticists.

Robot-assisted surgery is still in its infancy, so finding skilled and experienced talent is challenging for healthcare organizations and medical technology companies alike. Between 2000-2010, medical technology innovation was a bit stagnant, contributing to a skills shortage today. For experienced talent, there is a tremendous number of job opportunities available.

HeathCare Recruiters International

Whether you’re professional looking for your next opportunity in the surgical robotics field, or you’re a life science company in need of talent, contact HCRI today.

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