Hospital spending on capital equipment is on an upswing, signaling a stronger outlook for surgical procedures guided by robotic systems in the year ahead, medtech executives said on their first-quarter earnings calls.

The activity mirrors a boom in the broader economy to start 2021 that points to a recovery from the pandemic-driven recession, but the strength of demand from the hard-hit hospital sector surpassed expectations.

“As procedures are coming back, we’re seeing through our order book that hospitals are in actually very good financial position. And better than, frankly, I would have expected when the pandemic first hit,” said Stryker CEO Kevin Lobo.

Hospital finances are significantly healthier than they were following past economic downturns, he said. That solid footing bodes well for sales of Stryker’s Mako robotic platform for knee and hip surgery as procedure volumes return to more normal…

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