07-21-2013, 06:53 AM
Perhaps a silly question, but why are ARTAS-driven FUE procedures the same price as "manual" FUE procedures? (At least they are according to the docs that I have spoken to).
Shouldn't the "automation" reduce prices a bit? I mean you don't have techs slicing up a donor strip, the doctor doesn't need to manually do each and every punch, etc.
Sure, there's capital cost for the unit but it can't work out to be the same price as the doc's time for manual FUE punches.
Anyone close to the industry care to comment?
07-22-2013, 07:53 AM
There are many approaches to FUE. Patients and potential patients hear "FUE" and seem to think of it in terms of a specific marketing category, for example the "Tesla Model S". The term FUE is really much more broad and generic like the term "high performance sports sedan". Doctors often perform very different versions of follicular unit extraction. For instance, Dr. Cole begins each surgery using manual punches. Once punch size, hair depth, hair angle, follicular unit size, skin type, skin laxity, etc. has been determined, Dr. Cole usually switches to his powered extraction device, he and his engineer developed called the PCID. The PCID is not to be confused with A.I., automated robotic hair transplant devices. The PCID utilizes the physician's skills. The principal is similar to claw hammer vs nail gun. Both require operator skill. Anyone who has done a lot of nailing, knows that the nail gun is a vast improvement over the hammer.
I recently asked a health insurance professional why health insurance is so expensive. She told me that most of the high cost is generated by new, expensive medical devices designed for new methods of treatment. A.I. robotics are new for hair transplant surgery. Given the current state of A.I., I personally have more confidence in a skilled and experienced hair restoration physician who has mastered FUE.