With Dexter, the robot of the Swiss start-up Distalmotion, hospitals can reduce the costs for surgeries by more than 90% compared to traditional robotic solutions. Distalmotion has now signed a first distribution agreement for Dexter.

Today’s surgical robots have their roots in remote surgery for the military. They were designed to allow surgeries even when the surgeon is on another continent as the patients. This concept led to very complex and expensive solutions, which need a lot of training. Therefore, the use of robots is still not widespread. Distalmotion wants to change that with the new approach. Its surgical robot Dexter has been designed with the daily work of surgeons in mind. The new concept has several advantages.

Dexter will be used only for long and complex tasks such as suturing and dissection, while the surgeon performs short and specialized tasks such as stapling and vessel sealing. In addition, Distalmotion’s robot will not replace the assistant like traditional surgical robots. The focus makes Dexter less complex and more affordable. Surgeons and assistants do not have to learn new procedures; they can just use the robot for some clearly defined tasks. The surgeon does not have to be outside of the operating room to control the robot; he can remain sterile at the patient and switch between robotics and laparoscopy in less than 20 seconds.

‘Dexter’ will be CE marked in mid-2019. The robot will not be sold. The business model includes robot rental plus recurring revenues from consumables. The “pay-per-use-model” will make the market entry easier for the start-up.

Distalmotion has its own sales organisation for Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France. This week, Surgical Innovations Group plc – the designer and manufacturer of innovative technology for minimally invasive surgery – has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Elemental Healthcare Limited, has signed a three-year exclusive UK distribution agreement with Distalmotion. It is the first distribution agreement for the Swiss start-up.

Adam Power, Group Development Director of Surgical Innovations Group plc, commented: The market for surgical robots in the UK is limited by the cost and by the range of applications for which existing competitors are appropriate. ‘Dexter’ offers a much broader range of surgical opportunites and employs a novel funding model. As a consequence, we expect ‘Dexter’ by DistalMotion SA to address the issues limiting the growth of surgical robots in the UK and to be a more acceptable solution for NHS and Private Hospitals.