The billion dollar robot

A Tel Aviv, Israel-based tech company has built a surgical robot that is worth a billion dollars.

The robot, called Hominis (that’s Latin for ‘human’), is the world’s first surgical robot fitted with miniature humanoid-shaped arms with shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints that are designed for incredibly dextrous minimally invasive surgery.

Memic, as the company will be known, announced in September that following the completion of their merger with MedTech Acquisition Corporation, a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company), to go public, it “will have a pro-forma equity value of more than a $1 billion”.

The merger comes on the heels of Memic receiving US FDA authorization in March this year (their CE Mark application is pending) to market the robot specifically for transvaginal benign surgical procedures, including benign hysterectomy, benign hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy, benign hysterectomy with salpingectomy, salpingectomy, oophorectomy, adnexectomy and ovarian cyst removal. It notes that their initial target addressable market is over 1 million women’s health procedures in the United States and over 4 million globally.

Commenting on the merger, Dvir Cohen, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Memic, says: “[The merger] represents a significant opportunity to advance the robot-assisted surgery market in ways that, until now, have been unattainable.

“Our partnership with the MedTech team, which provides decades of collective experience in surgical robotics, is an important step in bringing our advanced technology to medical facilities and patients across the United States and the world.”

The company says it plans to expand within women’s health, as well as into additional applications including general, colorectal, thoracic, transoral and transrectal surgeries. It says it is developing artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled features to support all its surgical indications.


The surgical robot operates with biomimetic instruments that are designed to replicate the motions and capabilities of a surgeon’s arms, with shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints. Multiple instruments can be introduced into the body through a single portal and the 360-degree articulation offers the ability to bend and work around anatomic barriers, as well as provide optimal access and working angles. Memic points out that the small, compact and mobile design of Hominis also offers a minimal footprint, with simple docking and a short setup time for surgeons, without requiring a dedicated operating room.

The company adds that Hominis can be purchased at a significant cost advantage compared to other available robotic technology. This will potentially allow more medical facilities including hospitals and ambulatory surgical centres to access and adopt surgical robotics.

Maurice Ferre, Chairman of the board at Memic, says: “Hominis will introduce new types of minimally invasive surgery. This is a game changer in terms of minimally invasive robotic technology.”

Presentation to American Urogynecologic Society

In October last year Memic presented to the American Urogynecologic Society a clinical experience with the Hominis system for transvaginal gynaecologic surgery. You can view the presentation here:

Memic points out that approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are performed annually in the U.S. [1]. The transvaginal approach is well documented as resulting in better clinical benefits, including less patient pain and scarring, shorter recovery times and reduced infection rates, compared to other approaches to hysterectomy [2]. But surgeons use the transvaginal approach in only 16 percent [3] of hysterectomies due to anatomical barriers and accessibility challenges [4,5]. In a recent clinical study using the Hominis system to perform 30 hysterectomies, 100 percent were completed successfully with the transvaginal approach with no device-related adverse events or intraoperative complications. “We believe the Hominis surgical system represents the most significant advancement in robotic soft tissue surgery in the last 20 years and will deliver great benefit to patients and their healthcare providers,” says Ferré.

Commenting on the FDA approval, Dvir Cohen, CEO of Memic, says: “This authorization is just the beginning; it opens the door for our novel system to expand to additional indications that, until now, have been off-limits to robot-assisted surgery.”

Professor Jan Baekelandt, MD, PhD, a gynaecologist at Imelda Hospital in Bonheiden, Belgium, who performed the first hysterectomy using the Hominis system in November 2018, comments: “This FDA authorization represents a significant advance in the world of robot-assisted surgery and fulfils an unmet need in the world of robotic gynaecological surgery.

“Research shows vaginal hysterectomy provides optimal clinical benefits to patients including reduced pain, recovery time and rates of infection but in most countries the incidence of vaginal hysterectomy is decreasing. In addition, transvaginal approaches result in no visible scars, which is very important to the gynaecological patient. Hominis is the only robot specifically developed for transvaginal surgery and is therefore small and flexible enough to perform surgery through a small incision.” The FDA says it will require Memic to develop and provide a comprehensive training program for surgeons and operating room staff to complete before operation of the device.

For more information about Hominis, visit:

1. Whiteman M, Hillis S, Jamieson D, et al., “Inpatient hysterectomy surveillance in the United States 2000-2004,” Am J Obstet Gynecol 2008; 198(1): 34. doi:
2. Aarts JWM, Nieboer TE, Johnson N, Tavender E, Garry R, Mol BWJ, Kluivers KB. Surgical approach to hysterectomy for benign gynaeco logical disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015. 2015 Aug 12;2015(8):CD003677.
3. Luciano AA, Luciano DE, Gabbert J, Seshadri-Kreaden U. The impact of robotics on the mode of benign hysterectomy and clinical outcomes. Int J Med Robot. 2016 Mar;12(1):114-24.
4. Committee Opinion No 701: Choosing the Route of Hysterectomy for Benign Disease. Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Jun;129(6):e155-e159.
5. Wu JM, Wechter ME, Geller EJ, Nguyen TV, Visco AG. Hysterectomy rates in the United States, 2003. Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Nov.
110(5):1091-5 (ISSN: 0029-7844).