We are Asensus

Asensus Surgical, Inc. and our 200+ amazing team members in 12 countries around the world are committed to developing technology that helps surgeons worldwide deliver life-changing patient care with consistently superior outcomes.

World map showing Asensus office locations

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Surgery isn’t performed by robots. It’s performed by people.

For so long, the industry has focused on incremental advancements in robotic equipment; innovations that bring speed, dexterity, and a clear view of what’s in front of us to do surgery. Augmented Intelligence goes further, by giving surgeons a sense of what’s around the corner. And as a surgeon builds on their digital legacy, our technology only gets smarter, ensuring that every surgery that follows will be, too.

Because we can do better. For patient care. For surgeon longevity. For lower cost barriers, and wider access to the latest advancements. And right now, in ORs across the world, a growing community of minds is making “better and better” the new standard of care. Our technology isn’t the “next generation.” It’s the missing piece.

Board of Directors

Stakeholders around the globe

  • David B. Milne
  • Andrea Biffi
  • Anthony Fernando
  • Kevin Hobert
  • Elizabeth Kwo, MD
  • Richard C. Pfenniger, Jr
  • William Starling

David Milne

David Milne brings to the board 35 years of experience as an operating executive and as a venture capital investor in the medical technology industry. He has been a Director on 16 boards in both public and private corporations and is currently a business advisor and independent board member and Chairman for several companies.  Previously he was the Managing Partner and led the medical technology practice for 13 years for SV Healthcare Ventures, a venture capital group with over $2.5b in assets under management.  He led investments in over a dozen companies including Entellus Medical (sold to Stryker, Aquesys (sold to Allergan), Mindframe (sold to Medtronic) and Spinal Kinetics (sold to Orthofix).

Before entering venture capital, Mr. Milne spent over 20 years as an operating executive in several business development, marketing, product development and sales positions.  From 1999 until 2005 he was Vice President, Business Development for Boston Scientific where he was responsible for over 50 transactions valued at greater than 2B and involved in the integration of numerous businesses.  He was also Director of Product Technology and Marketing for Cardiology and Urology divisions at Boston Scientific.  Mr.Milne started his career in international sales after receiving his undergraduate degree in 1984. He has held several positions, domestically and internationally in Product Management at SCIMED (acquired by Boston Scientific) and Becton Dickinson.  Mr Milne holds an MBA Marketing from NYU and a BS in Biology from Rutgers University.

Andrea Biffi

Andrea Biffi was elected to the Board of Directors in September 2015. Mr. Biffi is currently the Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors, of SOFAR S.p.A., a position he has held since June 2015. Mr. Biffi has worked for SOFAR, or companies owned by SOFAR, since January 2008.

Prior to becoming Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Biffi was General Manager, and a member of the Board of Directors, of SOFAR from November 2012 until June 2015; prior thereto he was CEO and President of SOFAR SWISS S.A. from February 2013 to November 2013; and prior thereto he was General Manager of SOVETA BALTICA UAB, a Lithuanian subsidiary of SOFAR from January 2008 until November 2013.

Anthony Fernando

As President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Fernando sets the company’s overall strategic vision and oversees its organic growth. Previously, he was the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer at Asensus, where he led the company’s technology strategy and global business operations.

Prior to Asensus, Mr. Fernando was Vice President of Innovation and Technology within the International Group at Stryker Corporation, across Stryker’s medical device portfolio. Before joining Stryker, Mr. Fernando held positions at Becton Dickinson & Company as Director, R&D Devices & Global Health, Greater Asia; PerkinElmer Inc. as Director, R&D and CoE Leader in Asia; and Varian, Inc. as Director of Operations/General Manager of the Pharmaceutical Products business unit.

Mr. Fernando earned an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and MS and BS in Mechanical Engineering with concentrations in Robotics and Automation from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Kevin Hobert

Kevin Hobert was appointed to the Board of Directors in July 2021.  Mr. Hobert currently serves as CEO of Breg, Inc., a company which provides products, services, technology and consulting to orthopedic care providers and patients. From September 2018 until March 2022, Mr. Hobert served as the principal of Beaver Lake Advisors LLC, a consulting firm which provided industry and transaction advisory services to private equity funds. From May 2007 to August 2018, Mr. Hobert served as the Chief Executive Officer of Carestream Health, Inc., a worldwide provider of medical imaging systems, X-ray imaging systems for non-destructive testing and precision contract coating services for a wide range of industria, medical, electronic and other applications.

Prior to May 2007, Mr. Hobert served in a variety of management positions for Kodak Health Group, a division of Eastman Kodak Company, and GE Medical Systems, Inc. (now GE Healthcare, Inc.). Mr. Hobert earned a BS, Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Elizabeth Kwo, MD

Elizabeth Kwo, MD was appointed to the Board of Directors in July 2021. Dr. Kwo specializes in healthcare technology product development and medical management. She currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer of Everly Health, a digital health company at the forefront of the virtual diagnostics-driven care industry.

Prior to Everly Health, Dr. Kwo served as the Deputy Chief Clinical Officer at Anthem, Inc., a position she held from December 2020 until March 2022. Also at Anthem, Dr. Kwo served as Staff Vice President, Clinical Analytics and Products from June 2020 toNovember 2020 and as Medical Director from November 2019 to May 2020. Prior to Anthem, Dr. Kwo cofounded and served as the Chief Executive Officer of the telemedicine company InfiniteMD from 2015 to 2019. She previously worked in management roles at MEdtronic, Inc., American Well Corporation, and founded multiple venture-backed companies in healthcare while continuing her academic appointment at Harvard Medical School as a Faculty Lecturer, a positions she continues to hold. Dr. Kwo earned a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University, an MD from Harvard Medical School, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an MPH from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She completed her residency in Preventive Care at Harvard Preventive Care and is Board Certified in Preventive Care and Occupational Medicine. She currently serves on the board of directors of Flexion Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. From 2004 to 2005, she served as a Fulbright Fellow in Taiwan. 

Richard C. Pfenniger

Richard C. Pfenniger, Jr. brings to the board experience as chief executive officer, chief operating officer and general counsel. Most recently, Mr. Pfenniger served as interim CEO of IntegraMed America Inc., a privately held company offering products and services to providers and consumers in niche medical sectors. Previously, he served as CEO and president of Continucare Corp., a provider of primary care physicians, and served as its board chairman.

Additionally, Mr. Pfenniger served as CEO and vice chairman of Whitman Education Group Inc., a proprietary provider of career-oriented post-secondary education. He also has served as COO, senior vice president-legal affairs and general counsel for IVAX Corp., a manufacturer and distributor of generic pharmaceutical products later acquired by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

Mr. Pfenniger serves as a director of GP Strategies Inc., a corporate education and training company; OPKO Health Inc., a multi-national pharmaceutical and diagnostics company; IntegraMed and prior to the merger with Asensus, served on the SafeSitch Medical Inc. board since 2005.

William N. Starling

William N. Starling is managing director of Synergy Life Science Partners, and chief executive officer of Synecor, a business generator of new life–science companies. He has raised more than $300 million in capital for companies he co–founded – the combined revenues of which now reach nearly $3 billion annually. As CEO of Synecor, Mr. Starling co–founded Asensus as well as BaroSense, Bioerodible Vascular Solutions (acquired by Guidant/Abbott in April 2004), InnerPulse and Interventional Autonomics Corp. Mr. Starling serves as board chairman of InnerPulse, board chairman of Interventional Autonomics Corp., and as a board member of Asensus.

Mr. Starling began his 30–year career in medical technologies at American Edwards Laboratories (now Edwards LifeSciences). There, he was part of the founding management team, served as marketing director for Advanced Cardiovascular Systems Inc. (acquired by Guidant/Abbott) and was co-founder, vice president and board member of Ventritex Inc. (acquired by St. Jude Medical). In addition, Mr. Starling was a co–founder, board chairman, and president and CEO of Cardiac Pathways Corp. (acquired by Boston Scientific Corp.).

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mr. Starling received an MBA from the University of Southern California.


Standing Together & Celebrating Differences

We believe in contributing to a society that welcomes diverse voices and values differences in lived experiences, culture, religion, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and neurodiversity. We are committed to ensuring that same environment for our employees – a culture where individuals feel safe, heard, and respected. We celebrate the uniqueness of our international workforce and know that only through inclusion, ongoing learning, and partnership can we succeed.

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