Sedasys, a robot anesthesiologist by Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) Ethicon, made serious headlines in May of last year. Here’s what we were hearing:
Cleared by the FDA to administer propofol for low-risk screenings, like colonoscopies and endoscopies, in 2013, it was poised to reduce the cost of sedation by around 10 percent—from $2,000 to an estimated $150-200. The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) lobbied against the robot, saying it could not replace the skill set anesthesiologists provided, and this backlash escalated when the Sedasys failed its first FDA review back in 2010. The ASA campaigned for more restrictions when clearance neared.
It looks like the ASA was successful; Johnson & Johnson took Sedasys off the market, because the device was hard to sell. It was only introduced to a handful of healthcare facilities in the two years it was available. It is yet unknown if Sedasys will stay at healthcare facilities that purchased the device or if the Sedasys brand will be sold to another company, an Ethicon spokesperson told Medical Design Technolgoy. Whether this was a result of the ASA, patient safety concerns or device design is unknown.