Intuitive, a global technology leader in minimally invasive care and the pioneer of robotic-assisted surgery, today announced the appointment of Yong-Bum Choi as General Manager for South Korea, where he will direct business strategy and operations for the company.
“South Korea remains a key market for minimally invasive care, and we are confident that Yong-Bum Choi will help Intuitive strengthen its position in the country’s healthcare market and our continued collaboration with South Korea hospitals and surgeons,” said Intuitive President of South Korea and Japan Kazuhiro Takizawa. “Choi’s extensive experience in both the region and the healthcare industry will benefit our customers and employees.”
Choi joins Intuitive with more than 26 years of experience in healthcare, previously working for companies including Janssen Korea, Eli Lilly and Co., Novartis and AstraZeneca. For the last three years, he served as the South Korea General Manager for Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Prior to that, he served as the South Korea General Manager for Baxter.
Additionally, Choi’s global leadership background includes a position overseeing cardiovascular portfolio business in emerging markets including China, Japan, Russia, Turkey, and Brazil.
“South Korea is a dynamic and essential country for Intuitive, and Yong-Bum Choi’s depth, breadth, and success in global leadership assignments will help enable us to further advance patient access to our technologies,” said Glenn Vavoso, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Asia at Intuitive. “South Korea hospitals and surgeons have played a pivotal role in the adoption of robotic-assisted surgery, in developing evidence of its clinical value, and innovating in minimally invasive techniques and solutions. We look forward to building on this important work under Yong-Bum Choi’s leadership.”
Intuitive entered the South Korean market in 2005, and the first robotic-assisted surgery in South Korea with da Vinci robotic-assisted surgical system was performed later that same year at the Yonsei University’s Severance Hospital. Today, more than 110 systems are in South Korea, with more than 190,000 total robotic-assisted surgical procedures performed to date.
Intuitive pioneered the field of robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery more than two decades ago with the da Vinci surgical system. Since then, more than 8.5 million procedures have been performed using da Vinci systems, with more than 55,000 surgeons worldwide trained on da Vinci systems.
“I was particularly attracted to joining Intuitive because of its commitment to improving patient outcomes through minimally invasive innovations, including robotic-assisted surgery, and its efforts to assure that this can become a standardized option for surgeons and patients for cleared procedures,” said Choi. “I look forward to working with surgeons, executives and the Intuitive team in South Korea to continue to expand patient access to robotic-assisted surgery, and the benefits it can offer.”