It took just four watermelons.

In 1985, doctors and researchers at the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center were trying out a radical new procedure – using a robot to do brain surgery.

Led by Dr. Yik San Kwoh, the team reprogrammed a PUMA 200 robot – originally used by General Motors to make car parts – to drill a hole in a patient’s skull and insert a needle to take a sample of a suspected tumor.

They practiced on four watermelons before trying it on a human. It was the first time a robot had ever been used in surgery.

The procedure went perfectly. The patient was awake the whole time and was able to go home the next day. If it had been done by hand the traditional way, they would have had to use anesthesia and keep the patient in the hospital for a week.

Robots are used in one out of five surgical procedures these days. And as the technology keeps improving, more and more doctors are using robots to do surgery.

Today I’ll explain why there’s a growing need for more robots to do surgery. I’ll also show you how to collect a reliable yield while investing in a company that’s developing new surgical robots.

The Growing Need for Surgical Robots as America Gets Older

America is getting old.

More than 11,000 people are hitting retirement age every day. The Census Bureau estimates that the number of retirees will increase by 30% over the next six years.

And as people get older, they’re more likely to need healthcare.

I’m experiencing it myself. I have more aches and pains that won’t go away. My doctor gives me a cortisone shot every few months to help.

Thankfully, I haven’t needed surgery yet. But hip and knee replacements are common among older folks.

That means as America ages, more people will need surgeries.

And surgical robots will help doctors meet the challenge while improving the outcome for patients.

The last thing you want is a surgeon with shaky hands. A lot can go wrong if the scalpel cuts into the wrong place. Even the best surgeons get tired after a long day operating on patients. And that can lead to shaky hands and mistakes.

That’s why robots are a great tool to help out doctors in surgeries. They’re always steady and precise. They can help surgeons get to parts of the body that are hard to reach. And they can help surgeons see what they’re doing in greater detail. And with robots doing the hard work, surgeons can concentrate on making sure the surgery goes as planned.

Using robots to do surgery also helps patients by allowing them to recover faster. Robots make smaller cuts and do less damage. This means there’s a lower chance of infection and smaller scars from robotic surgery.

A quicker recovery also means a shorter stay in the hospital and lower healthcare bills.

That’s why the demand for surgical robots is growing at a rapid pace. According to the consulting firm Bain & Company, sales of surgical robots have nearly quadrupled over the past decade. And in the U.S., 78% of surgeons say that they’re interested in using robots.

How You Can Invest in the Demand for Surgical Robots

One way to invest in the future of surgical robots is through Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).

Johnson & Johnson is developing a new surgical robot called Ottava and plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval to start testing it in the clinic later this year.

Ottava is designed to take up less space in the operating room compared to other surgical robots and simplify what doctors need to do during surgery.

Johnson & Johnson also recently partnered with Nvidia to use artificial intelligence (AI) to improve surgery. AI could help surgical robots do some things on their own and help surgeons identify organs and tumors. That will lead to greater chance at a successful surgery without complications.

Johnson & Johnson is a reliable dividend payer that has increased its payout to shareholders for the last 61 years in a row, which included eight recessions. It’s also one of just two companies in the world that has an “AAA” credit rating.

So you can be sure that the company has a very strong financial position that allows it to keep paying and raising its dividend.

Johnson & Johnson shares yield 3.1% and trade for less than 15x earnings right now. That’s slightly below its historical average of 16.5x earnings. So you can invest in this high quality healthcare company at a 10% discount.

As America ages, this is a great opportunity for you to benefit from the rising need for surgical robots and collect a reliable, recession-resistant income.

Happy SWAN (sleep well at night) investing,

Brad Thomas
Editor, Intelligent Income Daily