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I've spend a fair amount of time lately trying to keep up on the news for Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) -- this should be a pivotal year for them as their new system (the da Vinci S) gains customers and they expand the breadth of surgeries for which the da Vinci is commonly used. They'll be reporting their first quarter results in two weeks, but with the price declining (perhaps thanks to Cramer once again jumping out?) and my constant temptation to buy more of this one, I hate to wait for the company to tell me how the marketplace is accepting their products.

It's hard to keep track of the number of new Da Vinci S systems Intuitive Surgical is selling, in large part because lots of newspaper and PR editors seem to think the S is a typo -- generally, you can guess that any ISRG robot purchased for more than $1.3 million this year is an S type, but unless they specify I can't be certain.

Thankfully, owning these robots is usually a competitive advantage for hospitals, and they like to brag about it. I've included links where they were available, but I pulled a lot of these articles from non-free web sources. I think these quotes and news items call attention to the demand for ISRG products, and the advantages of robotic surgery:

"Robert Carey, a urologist and robotic surgery expert at the University of Miami, is joining a local practice in part to use the newly upgraded robotic system, considered the most advanced on the market" -- Sarasota Memorial's newly purchased Da Vinci S, March 21.

"Between the demand and opportunity for heart surgery and lung surgery and what (the urologists) can do with prostate surgery, we had a backlog of cases waiting for the robot," Dr. J. Michael Smith said about Cincinnatti Good Samaritan purchasing the S as their second robot, on March 17.

Evanston Northwestern Healthcare got a da Vinci S as their first robot -- “My preference in the pelvic area and the prostate is to use the robot, because the area is a very small working area,

Source: Marketplace Loves Intuitive Surgical's Robotic Systems (ISRG)