TransEnterix (NYSE:TRXC) this week announced that the Klinikum Esslingen hospital near Stuttgart, Germany, has agreed to lease a Senhance robotic surgery system — the third leasing agreement in about three months for the company.
Leasing robot-assisted surgery systems instead of selling them is an important strategic shift for TransEnterix as it seeks a turnaround in 2020. The company is also looking to package more artificial intelligence features in the Senhance system.
After a 2019 in which TransEnterix only sold three Senhance systems, the leasing agreements are about getting the robotic system out there so that it is used in more procedures, with more data collected CEO Anthony Fernando recently explained to MassDevice. Hospitals leasing a Senhance system agree to engage in a minimum number of procedures per month.
“They don’t have the overhang of the capital, but they are focused on doing the procedures and proving to themself how cost-effective it is to use the platform,” Fernando said.
After a contractual amount of time — a year, for example — hospital administrators then decide whether it is worth it to acquire the robotic system.
“Our goal is to focus on this year and try to get the adoption and penetration that we need, and then go from there,” Fernando said.
Klinikum Esslingen is a 660-bed hospital that serves as the academic teaching hospital of the University of Tübingen.
“We have created a strong, multidisciplinary program in minimally invasive surgery at our hospital,” said Dr. Ludger Staib, chief physician of the clinic for general and visceral surgery at the Klinikum Esslingen.
“We believe modern technology can help offer our patients the most precise and least invasive surgery possible, and we appreciate the ability to build on our strong existing minimally invasive program with the Senhance that will allow for maximum precision, visualization and control during delicate surgeries,” Staib said in a news release posted yesterday.
Research Triangle Park, N.C.– based TransEnterix touts its Senhance System as a more economical option when it comes to laparoscopic and robotic systems, with haptic feedback, surgeon camera control via eye sensing and improved ergonomics. The company is presently seeking an FDA 510(k) clearance for a new Intelligent Surgical Unit in which the system automatically moves the camera for the surgeon.