Does This Country Offer a Crystal Ball for Intuitive Surgical’s Investors?

I remember exactly when I became aware of robotic surgery: I was four years old, watching Luke Skywalker have his hand rebuilt after a rather contentious family reunion. That level of science fiction has not yet become reality, but we’re not as far away as we once were.

Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG) has been moving humanity closer to fulfilling that futuristic vision since introducing its robot-assisted surgical system, the da Vinci robot, in 2000. With any medical breakthrough, regulatory hurdles can often slow progress to market. But 20 years on, the company is leveraging its global footprint to move at light speed.

a dummy human on an operating table, covered with a blue sheet and robotic arms positioned above it as if to begin surgery.

Image source: Getty Images

Surgery comes to the machine age

Intuitive Surgical has been in a perpetual cycle of innovation and regulatory review since the original da Vinci system was released. The da Vinci Si was released in 2009, and in 2014, the da Vinci Xi was approved.

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A look into the COVID crystal ball

A look into the COVID crystal ball

MANILA, Philippines — In mid-March, before the world as we know it shifted into the way it is today, the idea that we’d spend the majority of 2020 at home with recurring lockdowns didn’t even cross my mind, and maybe neither did it yours. In the seven months since the Philippines reported its first case of COVID-19, we have ascended (descended?) into the list of countries with the most reported cases in Southeast Asia.

This pandemic isn’t the first of its kind nor is it the disease that brought to life quarantine measures, but its effects are unprecedented in our 21st-century lives. With modern medicine in place and improved health systems vis-à-vis the circumstances of earlier, even deadlier pandemics, the truth is, the coronavirus is just as capable of changing and reorienting the way we live and work.

In the 14th century, the

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