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Stryker and soft tissue robotics - what should they do now?

What does Stryker do now
What does Stryker do now

During SRS 2024 in Orlando - the CEO of Stryker - Kevin Lobo - gave a fireside chat about the state of robotics. For me it was one of the best leadership presentations, as it came from a place of deep understanding about the reality and pain of commercialising a surgical robot. No not a soft tissue surgical robot - but an orthopaedic robot - Mako.

Now as I’ve said a hundred times - I feel that ortho navigation systems are “easy” compared to launching and commercialising a soft tissue surgical robot like a da Vinci. It’s implant based, loyal user base etc etc.

Stryker Mako
Stryker Mako

But what I saw was humility: as when asked about soft tissue surgical robotics, Kevin clearly understood that trying to go head to head with a market leader that is in an utter dominant position, and with a market cap bigger than Stryker (yes you read that right) - and with more cash on hand… it would be “Stupid” to try and go head to head with them.

Let me explain why he’s right, and then let me explain why they need to do something… and what I think they need to do, and do it now.

Background to Stryker and Surgical Robotics

From my point of view Stryker is not in any way shape or form a general surgery company. They may beg to differ - but you just need to open up their website - and you can see that as soon as any company lumps together medical and surgical in one basket - they “Ain’t no surgical company.”

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