A 51-physician Barclays survey of U.S. hip and knee surgeons today prompted analyst Matthew Taylor to question investors’ expectations for Stryker‘s (NYSE:SYK) Mako robot-assisted surgery platform.
Some 22% of the docs surveyed reported using the Mako system, most for partial knee replacement procedures, with 25.5% saying they would use it more in the future, Taylor wrote in a note to investors, “leading us to believe that MAKO uptake will be modest.”
“In our view, there is a mismatch between investor expectations for Mako (which are high) and the market reality (which is mixed). While our survey showed some signs of enthusiasm for robotics, doctors called this the most ‘over-hyped’ area,” he wrote.
And 47% of the surgeon respondents said they don’t believe Stryker’s Triathlon total knee offering for Mako will significantly increase Mako adoption, with 39% saying they believe it will.
“While we think the survey was negative for SYK, this was driven mostly by mixed feedback for Mako, as surgeons push back on cost, lack of clinical outcomes, and the necessity of the device,” Taylor wrote.
Other insights from the Barclays poll include:
- The surgeons expect implant volumes to grow 15.5% in 2017, compared with Barclay’s 4.4% forecast.
- They expect pricing pressure to worsen this year, with 41% expecting a -1% to -5% decrease (compared to 31% in 2016).
- Medicare’s Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement program prompted 82% of surgeons to expect their hospitals to be less likely to use robotics.
- One-quarter of respondents said the Medicare CJR program means more focus on lower costs for hospitals and 75% of said bundling/CJR will lead to more low-cost implant use.
- Eighty percent said they expect to see “cherry picking” of patients in response to CJR’s outcome-based measurements.
- Only 1 had heard about Medtronic‘s (NYSE:MDT) planned entry into orthopedics, with just 8 indicating interest in learning more.
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