The Silicon Review
Helping people get back to what matters the most
Human surgery is one of the most arduous tasks in the field of medicine. Only selected few are given the authority to operate on a human being based on the damage that might cause the human to die or go to coma. But there were many instances where the doctors are helpless and the patient dies or the surgery becomes unsuccessful. Intuitive was one such company that had to put an end to this. So in 1995, it was founded to create innovative, robotic-assisted systems that help empower doctors and hospitals to make surgery less invasive than an open approach. Since da Vinci® became one of the first robotic-assisted systems cleared by the FDA for general laparoscopic surgery; it has taken robotic-assisted surgery from “science fiction” to reality. Working with doctors and hospitals, the company continues to develop new, minimally invasive surgical platforms and future diagnostic tools to help solve complex healthcare challenges around the world.
The Vision of the Company
It was to create a future where minimally invasive care would enable surgeons, their OR teams and healthcare systems to help people feel better. Many world-renowned experts in telerobotic technology, human-machine interfaces, and minimally invasive surgeons had come together to work on the company’s breakthrough surgical platform. Intuitive launched the da Vinci Surgical System in 1999. With the surgeon fully in control, it featured a fully immersive experience, enhanced visualization, dexterity, precision, and ergonomic comfort. For many surgeons, da Vinci was—and remains—a game changer in the delivery of minimally invasive care.
Today, the firm is forging ahead with new ways to help healthcare systems advance minimally invasive care. Its da Vinci SP® Surgical System allows urology surgeons to enter the body through a single, small incision. The da Vinci ecosystem provides an integrated approach to help drive improvements in outcomes and efficiencies and thus the company continues to innovate in entirely new fields.
The Science behind Evidence-Based Care
Intuitive supports the generation of high-quality clinical evidence through collaborative research initiatives. It works with clinicians, hospitals and medical/surgical societies to uncover the benefits of da Vinci® technology while maintaining a patients-first mindset. Examining outcomes data helps generate evidence showing da Vinci technology value to patients, surgeons, societies and other key stakeholders. It conducts traditional clinical studies, outcomes research, and it utilizes real-world evidence (RWE) databases.
The Next Era of Surgical Innovation
For narrow access urologic surgery, the da Vinci SP® system enables surgeons to operate through one incision. Designed to complement the da Vinci X® and da Vinci Xi® systems, the da Vinci SP provides surgeons with a familiar user experience for single port access.
Making an Impact with Their Work – The Team
Intuitive has a mission-driven team and it’s the dedication to the work that inspires them to take on some of the biggest and most complex healthcare challenges. It’s also what draws some of the best talents in the industry to its global doorstep.
The Head of the Company
Gary S. Guthart, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Member of the Board of Directors
Gary has more than 25 years of medical, engineering, scientific and management experience. He became Chief Executive Officer of Intuitive in January 2010. He served as President, starting in July 2007, and before that served as Chief Operating Officer and held various engineering management roles during his more than two decades at the company.
Prior to Intuitive, Dr. Guthart was part of the core team developing foundational technology for computer enhanced-surgery at SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute). While at SRI, he also developed technologies for vibration and acoustic control of large-scale systems. Dr. Guthart has served on the Board of Directors of Illumina, Inc. since December 2017 and previously served on the Board of Directors of Affymetrix, Inc. from May 2009 until its acquisition by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. in March 2016.
Dr. Guthart received a B.S. in Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Engineering Science from the California Institute of Technology.