Rise in reported surgical robot problems could spur training surge

Hospitals may be forced to boost training for surgical robots made by Intuitive Surgical ($ISRG) in response to reports that adverse events linked to their use are on the rise. Bloomberg reports that the FDA handled 3,697 adverse event reports as of Nov. 3, 2013, versus 1,595 reports generated in the entire previous year. Regulators said the increase could be related, in part, to greater public awareness and wider use of the company's robotic da Vinci system. But as the article pointed out, the data come in the wake of an FDA report noting that inconsistent training may hamper the benefits of the robotic system. Jeff Berkley, chief executive of Mimic Technologies, a company that produces simulators for robotic surgery training, told Bloomberg that the rise in patient lawsuits is forcing hospitals and doctors to realize the necessity of more, and better, training. Story

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