SEC Filings

10-K
INTUITIVE SURGICAL INC filed this Form 10-K on 02/02/2018
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PART I
ITEM 1.
BUSINESS
In this report, “Intuitive Surgical,” “Intuitive,” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to Intuitive Surgical, Inc. and its wholly and majority-owned subsidiaries. Intuitive®, Intuitive Surgical®, da Vinci®, da Vinci S®, da Vinci S HD Surgical System®, da Vinci Si®, da Vinci Si HD Surgical System®, da Vinci Xi®, da Vinci SP®, EndoWrist®, Firefly®, InSite®, da Vinci Connect®, Intuitive Surgical EcoSystem®, and da Vinci X® are trademarks of Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
Company Background
Intuitive designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci Surgical Systems and related instruments and accessories, which taken together, are advanced surgical systems that we consider an advanced generation of surgery. This advanced generation of surgery, which we call da Vinci Surgery, combines the benefits of minimally invasive surgery (“MIS”) for patients with the ease of use, precision and dexterity of open surgery. A da Vinci Surgical System consists of a surgeon’s console, a patient-side cart, and a high performance vision system. The da Vinci Surgical System translates a surgeon’s natural hand movements, which are performed on instrument controls at a console, into corresponding micro-movements of instruments positioned inside the patient through small incisions, or ports. The da Vinci Surgical System is designed to provide its operating surgeons with intuitive control, range of motion, fine tissue manipulation capability, and Three Dimensional (“3-D”) High-Definition (“HD”) vision while simultaneously allowing surgeons to work through the small ports enabled by MIS procedures.
da Vinci Surgery
da Vinci Surgery utilizes computational, robotic, and imaging technologies to enable improved patient outcomes compared to other surgical and non-surgical therapies. da Vinci Surgery is aimed towards advancing the critical surgical ideals of entering the body less invasively, seeing anatomy more clearly, interacting with tissue more precisely, and building surgical skills. The da Vinci Surgical System enables surgeons to avail or improve the benefits of MIS to many patients who would otherwise undergo a more invasive surgery. Surgeons using the da Vinci system operate while seated comfortably at a console viewing a 3-D, HD image of the surgical field. This immersive visualization connects surgeons to the surgical field and their instruments. While seated at the console, the surgeon manipulates instrument controls in a natural manner, similar to the more intuitive open surgery technique. Our technology is designed to provide surgeons with a range of motion in the surgical field analogous to the motions of a human wrist, while filtering out the tremor inherent in a surgeon’s hand. In designing our products, we focus on making our technology easy and safe to use.
Our systems provide the following features and benefits to surgeons:
Immersive 3-D Visualization. Our vision system includes a 3-D endoscope with two independent vision channels linked to two separate color monitors through sophisticated image processing electronics. The da Vinci Surgical System provides visualization of target anatomy with natural depth-of-field, enhanced contrast, and magnification that is intended to facilitate accurate tissue identification and tissue layer differentiation. With our Firefly Fluorescence Imaging technology, surgeons can use our specialized imaging hardware in combination with an injectable fluorescent dye to visualize vasculature, tissue perfusion, or biliary ducts beneath tissue surfaces in real-time.
Precise and Tremor-Free Endoscope Control. Our imaging system also incorporates our proprietary Navigator camera control technology that allows the surgeon to easily change, move, zoom, and rotate his or her field of vision. Surgeons can reposition the surgical camera quickly with foot controls or zoom in, out, up, down, left and right by moving their hands while maintaining a stable image.
EndoWrist Instruments. Our instruments are modeled after the human wrist, offering a greater range of motion than the human hand. Most of our proprietary instruments, which we call EndoWrist instruments, incorporate “wrist” joints that enable surgeons to reach behind tissues and suture with precision, just as they can in open surgery.
Intuitive Instrument Movements. Our technology is designed to transform the surgeon’s natural hand movements outside the body into corresponding micro-movements inside the patient’s body. For example, with the da Vinci Surgical System, a hand movement to the right outside the body causes the instrument inside the patient to be moved to the right. In contrast, conventional MIS instruments are long rigid levers that rotate around a fulcrum, or pivot point, located at the port created in the body wall. In conventional MIS, the instrument tip moves in the opposite direction from the surgeon’s hand and surgeons must adjust their hand-eye coordination to translate their hand movements in that environment.
Scaled, Tremor Filtered Instrument Movement. With our technology, a surgeon can also use “motion scaling,” a feature that translates, for example, a three-millimeter hand movement outside the patient’s body into a one-millimeter instrument movement in the surgical field inside the patient’s body. Motion scaling is designed to allow precision and control for delicate tasks. In addition, our technology filters the tremor inherent in a surgeon’s hands.

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