Intuitive Surgical Announces Simulator Grants to Top Medical Centers for Research in Robotic-Assisted Surgery Training

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Aug. 3, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq:ISRG) today awarded simulator grants to five top U.S. medical centers to advance the field of training for robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery. The University of Rochester Medical Center, University of Virginia School of Medicine, University of Nevada School of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine and University of Miami, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center will each receive a da Vinci Surgical System Surgeon Console and Skills Simulator™ for one year to pursue novel research initiatives.

The 2015 call for grant proposals encouraged applicants to focus on specific key areas of interest for da Vinci surgeon training, highlighting Intuitive Surgical's identification of training needs and the company's commitment to supporting impactful research to address those needs, including how skills learned in a virtual-reality environment translate to improved inter-operative skills.

"This was an extremely competitive process, with many top institutions choosing to participate," said Myriam Curet, M.D., Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer at Intuitive Surgical. "Through these grants, we are positively impacting surgical robotics training and offering surgical residents and community surgeons the opportunity to hone their robotic-assisted surgical skills." 

Over 50 applications submissions were received, with the winning submissions selected through a rigorous process that included multiple reviews by researchers in the field of virtual reality simulation and training. Applicants were rated on their proposal's scientific rigor and likelihood to advance the field of surgeon education research. Finalists then completed a phone interview with members of the review committee to present their project.

"As the da Vinci Surgical Systems emerge on the forefront of minimally invasive surgery, validation of safe training curricula for residents, fellows, and practicing surgeons will have to be sought with careful, scientific rigor," said Shawn Tsuda, M.D., FACS, Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Nevada School of Medicine. "This grant enables forward-looking programs to develop best-practices for integrating robotics into surgical training."

"Research suggests that surgeons who train using virtual-reality simulation technology improve their skills and efficiency," continued Curet. "The goal of this program is for the skills surgeons develop during simulation practice to translate to actual surgery and improved patient outcomes in robotic-assisted surgery."

About Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Nasdaq:ISRG), headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., is the global leader in robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery. Intuitive Surgical develops, manufactures and markets the da Vinci® Surgical System.

About the da Vinci Surgical System

There are several models of the da Vinci Surgical System. The da Vinci Surgical Systems are designed to help surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery. da Vinci Systems are not programmed to perform surgery on their own. Instead, the procedure is performed entirely by a surgeon who controls the system. da Vinci Systems offer surgeons high-definition 3D vision, a magnified view, and robotic and computer assistance. They use specialized instrumentation, including a miniaturized surgical camera and wristed instruments (i.e., scissors, scalpels and forceps) that are designed to help with precise dissection and reconstruction deep inside the body.

About the da Vinci Skills Simulator

The da Vinci Skills Simulator is intended to augment, not replace, existing training programs for the da Vinci Surgical Systems.

Important Safety Information

For Important Safety Information, indications for use, risks, full cautions and warnings, please refer to and

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding regulatory clearances to market the da Vinci Xi System around the world. These forward-looking statements are necessarily estimates reflecting the best judgment of our management and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements should, therefore, be considered in light of various important factors, including those under the heading "Risk Factors" in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 as updated from time to time by our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Statements using words such as "estimates," "projects," "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "intends," "may," "will," "could," "should," "would," "targeted" and similar words and expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or release any revisions to these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

© 2015 Intuitive Surgical, Inc. All rights reserved. Product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.



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