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Technological innovations in the medical field are expected to become more and more prominent in the medical industry.

According to a recent research published by Tractica, the report projects that the market for healthcare robots, including surgical robots, hospital robots, and rehabilitation robots, will grow in revenue from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $2.8 billion by 2021, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.7 percent.

As a result, the research forecasts that healthcare robot shipments will increase from approximately 3,400 units annually in 2016, to more than 10,500 units per year by 2021, with more than 38,400 cumulative units shipped during the forecasted period. Bionik Laboratories Corp., Accuray Incorporated, Immersion Corporation, Corindus Vascular Robotics Inc., and Transenterix Inc. 

Healthcare robots include surgical robots, hospital logistics robots, disinfectant robots, nursing robots, exoskeleton robots used for rehabilitation, robotic prosthetic limbs, and many other innovative robotic.

Currently, surgical robots are the largest application in the market for healthcare robots. The Tractica research indicates that this may change however, and that surgical robots "will be eclipsed by exoskeletons and prosthetics by the end of the period [2021]."  

Bionik Laboratories Corp. is a robotics company, focused on providing rehabilitation and mobility solutions to individuals with neurological disorders. On February 27, it announced that it has "appointed Malcolm G. Bock as Vice President of Engineering. Mr. Bock is an established and experienced leader in the development of medical devices."

"We are excited to welcome Malcolm to our company as VP of Engineering. His engineering expertise and successful track record of bringing products from concept to market will be of great value in advancing on our growth strategy," states Peter Bloch, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. "This appointment is a notable step forward for the Company, as we continue to execute on our immediate priorities of increasing revenue and bringing new products to market."

Bionik Laboratories: Mr. Bock joins the Bionik team having most recently served as the Vice President of Engineering at Respiratory Motion, where he was responsible for creating a product pipeline and technology roadmap, and bringing the company's first product from concept to launch in 10-months' time. Prior to that, Mr. Bock served as the Senior Director of Global R&D for Covidien Ltd., a spin-off of Tyco International, where he was responsible for R&D and launching 15 new products, including both durable electro-mechanical systems and single-use devices, over a 10-year period. In 2011, he was awarded Covidien Inventor of the Year. Over the course of his career, Mr. Bock has launched over 38 new products and was awarded Best Divisional Vitality Index, and Best New Product for his work at Covidien. He has also been awarded 30 patents, with an additional 28 patents pending.

Earlier on December 26 , Bionik Laboratories announced, "It is advancing the InMotion AnkleBot from research use into commercial development. The InMotion AnkleBot is an exoskeletal robotic system, using the same design principles used in InMotion upper extremity rehabilitation systems. The AnkleBot is based on a design developed at the Newman Laboratory for Biomechanics and Human Rehabilitation at MIT, and is currently available in multiple clinics for research in the U.S. Bionik expects to file for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance in the third quarter of 2017, with planned market introduction in the first quarter of 2018." 

Accuray Incorporated announced data from a prospective, Phase II, 17-center study, which showed that treatment with the CyberKnife System for low and intermediate-risk prostate cancer, provides excellent long-term results. At five years, the disease-free survival rate for low-risk prostate cancer patients was 100 percent, and for intermediate-risk patients was 88.5 percent. The CyberKnife System was designed to deliver SBRT, a treatment process enabling the delivery of radiation throughout the body, with an extremely high degree of precision. The system's unique ability to continually track and automatically correct for movement of the prostate in real-time throughout the entire treatment session, provides distinct advantages when treating a tumor which can move as much as 10 mm in as little as 30 seconds.

Immersion Corporation is the innovator of touch feedback technology, also known as haptics. The company provides technology solutions for creating immersive and realistic experiences that enhance digital interactions by engaging users' sense of touch. With more than 2,400 issued or pending patents, Immersion's technology has been adopted in more than three billion digital devices, and provides haptics in mobile, automotive, advertising, gaming, medical and consumer electronics products. Recently, Immersion extended its partnership on TouchSense Ads with AdColony, the largest independent mobile advertising platform in the world.

Developer of precision vascular robotics, Corindus Vascular Robotics Inc., had signed a strategic distribution agreement with Japan Medicalnext Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned entity of MC Healthcare, Inc. (subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation) and prominent supplier of medical devices in Japan. Pursuant to the agreement, Japan Medicalnext has become the exclusive distributor of Corindus products in Japan and within 30 days will place an initial order for 12 CorPath GRX Systems, accompanied by an advance of two million dollars toward the purchase price. "We are very excited to partner with MC Healthcare Group, a leading healthcare company and distributor of medical devices in Japan," says Mark Toland, President and Chief Executive Officer of Corindus Vascular Robotics. "With our shared vision for advancing the field of vascular robotics, we look forward to introducing our CorPath GRX System to patients and physicians in one of the world's largest PCI markets."

Medical device company that is pioneering the use of robotics to improve minimally invasive surgery, Transenterix Inc. was successful in the clinical usage of the Senhance Robotic Surgical System in France as part of its Clinical Leadership Program. Senhance Surgical Robotic System, is a multi-port robotic system that brings the advantages of robotic surgery to patients while enabling surgeons with innovative technology, such as haptic feedback and eye sensing camera control. The company is also developing the SurgiBot System, a single-port, robotically enhanced laparoscopic surgical platform. The Senhance Surgical Robotic System has been granted a CE Mark but is not currently available for sale in the United States.

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