Intuitive Surgical (NSDQ:ISRG) has spent more than a decade dominating the robot-assisted surgery market, and longtime CEO Gary Guthart has no plans to cede that position, he tells MassDevice.com Executive Editor Brad Perriello in this special podcast.
Guthart said Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Intuitive stays focused on one criterion: “Where can we make a difference in outcomes?” Robotic surgery is intrinsic to the company’s genetic code, he said.
“It’s in our DNA. We think about it 24/7. It is all we do, and I think that sets us apart,” Guthart said.
The chief executive seemed unfazed by the increasingly competitive landscape of players large and small.
“I’ve been at this for a little while now. I started doing this in 1993 up at SRI,” Guthart told us. “From that time in ’93 until now, I can think of, off the top of my head, about 25 robotic surgery companies that have taken a hard run at it, and been serious. Most of them have not become a standard of care. It’s a sophisticated set of products & services to deliver. I respect the teams that are working on it, but I also respect the amount of effort it takes.
“We see some small players who are doing some interesting things. We see some large players that have entered, we think, in a defensive posture,” he added.
In this interview, Guthart also explains Intuitive’s five-bucket R&D philosophy; and what he looks for in potential business partners, and more.