Guest Column | September 26, 2022

Surgical Robotics & Navigation Sees Explosive Growth In Which Region?

By Devon Philpott and Kamran Zamanian, Ph.D., iData Research

Futuristic medical surgery GettyImages-1283314480

As medical technology advances, use of surgical robots and navigation systems is increasing across the globe. In 2021, most of the revenue generated in the surgical navigation system market was in North America (Figure 1).1 In August, we wrote about the U.S. market trends for computer-assisted and robotics-assisted surgery. By 2028, the leading global region in the market is expected to be Asia-Pacific (APAC).

APAC is seeing strong double-digit compound annual growth rate (CAGR), more than tripling in value from 2021 to 2028 (Figures 1 & 2).1 This strong growth can be attributed to the large aging population seen in the region, due to increased life expectancy and decreased birth rates.2 By 2050, more than 25% of APAC’s population is projected to be 60 years of age or older, compared to about 12% in 2016.3 Older populations tend to have a higher need for surgery, such as joint replacements, driving the surgical navigation market.1 Other factors that will aid in this growth include an increasing trend toward minimally invasive surgeries and the clinical benefits of using a navigation system compared to freehand surgery.1

Figure 1: Market value for the surgical navigation market by region, 2021 versus the expected value in 2028. Access iData’s global surgical robotics and navigation market report to view more granular data.

Figure 2: Growth rates for the surgical navigation market by region, 2019 to 2028. Access iData’s global surgical robotics and navigation market report to view more granular data.

Increased Competition From Domestic Companies

Specifically in the surgical robotics market, North America is expected to remain the largest region from 2021-2028.1 However, APAC is expected to see more than a three-fold increase due to the several domestic companies releasing surgical robots with applications for minimally invasive surgery (MIS), orthopedic surgery, spinal surgery, and neurosurgery. When surgical robots are manufactured internationally, import taxes and fees must be paid in addition to the cost of the robot, many of which are already in the high-six-figure or seven-figure range, posing a hefty bill for surgical centers. One of the more expensive systems in the surgical robotics market is the da Vinci robot offered by Intuitive Surgical, a company that has been dominating the robotic MIS system market over the last several years. There are a number of domestic companies in the APAC region looking to compete with Intuitive by releasing surgical robots at more affordable prices, which is expected to drive down the average selling price (ASP) compared to other regions (Figure 3). Some of these companies include Articulus Surgical, KAIST Future Medical Robotics Research Center, Medicaroid, meerecompany, and MicroPort. In addition to the robotic MIS market, MicroPort is also present in the robotic orthopedic surgery market in the APAC region. Other domestic companies include CUREXO, Tinavi Medical Technologies, and Koh Young Technology, which offer robotic systems for orthopedic, spinal, and neurosurgery.

Figure 3: Comparison of average selling price (ASP) for minimally invasive surgical robots in Asia-Pacific to all other regions (North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Central & Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), 2021 versus 2028. Access iData’s global surgical robotics and navigation market report to view more granular data.

Company Investments Driving The Market

Although the company is already well established in the robotic MIS space, Intuitive Surgical continues to stay ahead of the market curve. In August 2022, Intuitive announced its plans to invest more than $100 million to build a manufacturing base in Shanghai to increase access to robotic-assisted MIS in China, projected to be ready by 2025.4 As a result, it is expected that more global and domestic surgical robotic companies will invest resources into the Chinese market, as it is the most populated country in the world.4 Once these new facilities are established in China, it is likely that there will be a ripple effect into surrounding countries, furthering the growth of robotic surgery in the APAC region. Globus Medical, a leading competitor in the robotic-assisted neurosurgery market, has also expanded into the region and placed its ExcelsiusGPS system in two major Japanese hospitals.5

Regional Comparison

In addition to aging populations and domestic competitors entering the space, there is more opportunity for growth in the APAC region because the surgical navigation and robotics markets are currently less established compared to North America or Western Europe. For example, using a navigation system for neurosurgery has already been accepted as the standard of care in North America and Western Europe. Consequently, the market is approaching saturation in those regions as many new systems that are sold year over year are to replace old systems in the market.

However, for regions where the market does not have a high level of penetration, the possibility for growth is much higher. As a result, the regions expected to see the highest growth in the overall surgical navigation and robotics market globally are APAC and the Middle East. Although the Middle East has not recently seen the same level of investment in robotic surgery that the APAC region has, other well-known companies have entered the market in that region, such as CMR Surgical. In 2021, the Cambridge, U.K.-based company announced its entry into the United Arab Emirates, placing its surgical robot into three hospitals across the region.6

Concluding Remarks

As the most populated and fastest-aging region globally, the need for surgery in the APAC region is only going to increase in the coming years. The market for surgical robotics and navigation is still relatively young, providing ample opportunity for growth. Continued investment of resources and technology will develop the market in the future, improving access to care and the health of patients living in the APAC region.


  1. iData Research Inc. Global Surgical Robotics and Navigation Market – 2022. Published September 2022.
  2. One region is growing older a lot faster than anywhere else in the world. Quartz. Published November 9, 2017. Accessed August 17, 2022.
  3. 2016 escap population data sheet. ESCAP. Accessed August 17, 2022.
  4. 赵诗悦. Intuitive Surgical plans $100m investment to expand robotic assisted surgery. Accessed August 17, 2022.
  5. Globus Medical Announces Two Japan Hospitals First to Obtain ExcelsiusGPS® Robotic Navigation Platform. Globus Medical. Published August 17, 2022. Accessed September 1, 2022.
  6. Surgical CMR. Cmr surgical expands into the middle east. GlobeNewswire News Room. Published December 20, 2021. Accessed August 17, 2022.

About The Authors:

Devon Philpott is a research analyst at iData Research. She develops and composes syndicated research projects regarding the medical device industry, publishing the Global Surgical Robotic and Navigation report series following the publication of the U.S. Surgical Robotics and Navigation report in June 2022.

Kamran Zamanian, Ph.D., is CEO and founding partner of iData Research. He has spent over 25 years working in the market research industry with a dedication to the study of medical devices used in the health of patients all over the globe.