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BrainLAB: Image-Guided Surgery's Whiz Kids

Executive Summary

The success of BrainLAB, a leader in radiotherapy and image-guided surgery, has been built on two strengths: technological innovation, particularly in software designed specifically for medical applications, and a series of alliances with large device partners that gave it the clout to get its products to market. Though BrainLAB is, on some level, a capital equipment company, it remains, culturally, a software provider, with the aggressive, innovative, entrepreneurial spirit associated with software companies. The company's next major challenge: getting off to a quick start in orthopedics, which could be image-guided surgery's biggest market to date.

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MAKO Surgical: Navigating Robotics in Orthopedics

All but dead a half a dozen years ago, MAKO Surgical is alive and well with an innovative technology platform that both embraces robotics and looks past it. Key to MAKO's strategy: a focus on unicompartmental knee procedures that are extremely difficult to do manually but, company officials hope, are significantly enabled by its robotic arm platform. If company officials are right, MAKO's robotics system could help explode the unicompartmental segment of the knee market without cannibalizing the total knee replacement segment. This year's AAOS meeting was a kind of coming out party for MAKO, whose major challenge now is convincing surgeons that robotics is more than just an intriguing gadget-it's a critical part of the surgical armamentarium

MAKO Surgical: Navigating Robotics in Orthopedics

All but dead a half a dozen years ago, MAKO Surgical is alive and well with an innovative technology platform that both embraces robotics and looks past it. Key to MAKO's strategy: a focus on unicompartmental knee procedures that are extremely difficult to do manually but, company officials hope, are significantly enabled by its robotic arm platform. If company officials are right, MAKO's robotics system could help explode the unicompartmental segment of the knee market without cannibalizing the total knee replacement segment. This year's AAOS meeting was a kind of coming out party for MAKO, whose major challenge now is convincing surgeons that robotics is more than just an intriguing gadget-it's a critical part of the surgical armamentarium

Praxim: Transforming Orthopedics Through Robotics

Robotic technology in orthopedics has been around for years, but with less than striking success. Now Praxim, a French surgical navigation technology company, believes it has solved the technical problems and has an "intelligent instrument" system that surgeons will be eager to adopt. Praxim argues that as OR technology advances, linking imaging, navigation, and computer-assisted intelligent instrumentation, robotic systems will represent not an adjunct technology play, but rather the centerpiece of an orthopedics offering.

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