Founded in 1995, Intuitive Surgical is a value-added medtech company that designs and produces surgical robots. Its flagship product, the Da Vinci medical robot, has revolutionized surgical practices in many specialties, including urology.
Like many technical and technological advances, it was war that served as a catalyst for research in the field of robotic surgery. The concept dates back to the 1980s, when the U.S. military sought to practice operations on wounded soldiers, from a distance.
The advantages are precious, both for the practitioner and the patient: in addition to the remote operation – in reality still little exploited – the gain in precision is highlighted by professionals. Robotic arms have an inherently greater degree of precision than humans, thanks to seven degrees of articulation. The tremor filtration solution helps to optimize this accuracy, resulting in faster recovery for the patient.
The robot actually consists of three parts: the “patient trolley”, which overlooks the patient, and which includes connected articulated arms, armed with endoscopes and surgical instruments; the surgeon’s console, where the practitioner settles by placing his head in a video headset, and his hands on appropriate controls; and the imaging cart, which centralizes and processes imaging data in real time. The designer speaks of “integrated technologies for robot-assisted surgery”, allowing to benefit from an exceptional dexterity in the so-called minimally invasive approach.
The absence of a competitor has long favored the success and the extraordinary stock market course of Intuitive Surgical. This pioneer must now deal with the gradual arrival of competitors in this segment at the crossroads of medical equipment, robotics, and information technology: Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, Vicarious Surgical or Asensus Surgical, for the most promising.
Some key figures:
- 2003: 1stremoval of the prostate performed in the United States with a “Da Vinci”
- 7.2 million interventions with the equipment, in 66 countries.
- The France is the 3rd country in the world in number of da Vinci systems installed.
- 2022 revenues: $6,262 million
- 2022 net income: $1,365 million.
- 2022 net margin: 21.8%
- Capitalization at the end of 2022: $99.177 million
- Comparative performance of the stock and the Nasdaq Composite
- 2017: +73% vs +28%
- 2018: +31% vs -4%
- 2019: +23% vs +35%
- 2020: +38% vs +43%
- 2021: +32% vs +21%
2022 (ytd): -24% vs. -30% With a P/E of more than 70, the share is emblematic of the transformation of the Nasdaq, which in a few years went from nest of nuggets to reservoir of growth values.