Surgeries aided by medical robots continue to grow

March 4, 2020

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) highlights how quickly robot-assisted surgeries are being adopted in American hospitals.

The study looked at almost 170,000 patients at 73 hospitals and tried to identify trends in the adoption of these surgical tools. It found that between 2012 and 2016 the use of robots for general surgery rose from 1.8% to 15.1%. Hospitals that launched robotic surgery programs had a broad and immediate increase in the use of robot systems.

The U.S. is the biggest market for robot medical aids, followed by western Europe, Japan, and China. In terms of the number of procedures each year, the one-two is U.S. and China.

The study highlights how quickly robots are being developed for surgical procedures and the frontiers of their applications.

In fact, the global robotics market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 25% between 2019 and 2024, according to a report by Research and Markets.  As reported by Yahoo Finance, robotic applications are spreading in all industrial areas, including healthcare, entertainment, retail, automobile and defense.

Two medical device companies that are benefitting from these trends are Stryker Corp. and Medtronic Corp. These U.S.-based multinationals are developing robotic aids and are  seeing sales growth in this area. Both are  components of the Harvest Portfolios Group  Harvest Healthcare Leaders Income ETF (HHL-T).

As of Feb. 28, 2020, the Healthcare Leaders ETF held 20 of the largest global healthcare companies with an average market capitalization of $177 billion.

About 46 per cent of the holdings are in pharmaceuticals, 18% in biotechnology, 20% in healthcare equipment and supplies and 14% are healthcare providers.

The holdings have an average dividend yield of 2.38% and a current yield of 9.65% enhanced by Harvest’s covered call strategy. The ETF’s average annual 5-year return on equity of 20.98%.

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The views and/or opinions expressed in the article are of a general nature and are for informational purposes only. Article contents should not be considered as advice and/or a recommendation to purchase or sell the mentioned securities or used to engage in personal investment strategies. Investors should consult their investment advisor before making any investment decision. 

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