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Healthy market growth, the biggest ever M&A deal, a record number of billion-dollar takeovers, and the IPO market in impressive bounce-back…2014 was a year of superlatives for the global medtech industry. But with more expected of manufacturers while health care spending remains in the doldrums and demand for care rises, the long-term medtech winners will be those who can forecast how and where to make an impact on both costs and patient outcomes.
Medtech manufacturers saw 2014 as the year of the medtech mega-merger and a rebound in IPOs. But the market is changing, and companies are increasingly cast as service providers who must deliver value.
Though interest in robotics is high in Europe, much of the commercial opportunity will likely fall to two small US companies who are just now aggressively spreading the gospel of robotics through affiliations with minimally-invasive surgery pioneers. That's not to say that European companies are standing idly by: Germany's Maquet is pushing forward with an orthopedic robot. Many obstacles to adoption remain for robots, but the high cost of these units may not be as much of a problem as might be expected. The goal--and challenge--for robotic companies and their clinical advocates: to firmly establish computer-assisted surgery as an important new platform and clinical advance in surgical practice.
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