Physician Collaboration

Collaboration between industry and physicians drives medical innovation and leads to better patient care. Some of the ways Medtronic collaborates with physicians include:

training The CoreValve System is a new way to treat severe aortic stenosis for patients for whom surgery is not recommended. Medtronic’s education and training programs help physicians to safely adopt this therapy. Part of the program involves training by physician proctors who have direct patient access and are highly trained and experienced in the new therapy. The physician proctors visit sites where other heart physicians are getting started with the therapy, and to help ensure that procedural best practices for the CoreValve System are being followed.
Clinical research Medtronic is currently collaborating with leading researchers worldwide to use an investigational deep brain stimulation (DBS) system, called Activa®PC+S, for physician-sponsored clinical studies that may one day transform the way people with various devastating neurological and psychological disorders are treated. The investigational system from Medtronic is the first to enable the sensing and recording of brain signals while simultaneously providing targeted DBS therapy. Collaboration is critical in this research, as initial findings by physicians may lead to clinical trials that could result in personalized DBS therapy where device data is used to automatically adjust therapy to the needs of individual patients.

DBS therapy, which Medtronic helped pioneer, delivers mild electrical pulses to precisely targeted areas of the brain to control symptoms of Parkinson's disease and other conditions via a surgically implanted medical system, similar to a pacemaker.
Consulting Physician advisors work closely with Medtronic on the development of education materials for patients with diabetes. A physician's perspective during the development process ensures the patient education materials are aligned to how the physician prescribes and manages new technologies with their patients. This alignment is important because managing diabetes requires hands-on involvement from the patient who wears and interacts with an insulin pump and glucose sensor.
Inventing new therapies Medtronic's Prestige® Artificial Spinal Disc was envisioned by University of Iowa neurosurgeon Vincent Treynelis, who wanted a device to replace a deteriorated disc in the neck while still allowing for movement between the vertebrae. Without the engineering experience to develop this on his own, he collaborated with Medtronic product engineer Greg Merik. Together, they produced the first artificial cervical disc commercially available in the United States.

We are proud of our work with physicians and have policies to ensure our interactions with physicians are principled and appropriate.

We understand the importance of public trust in collaboration and are committed to transparency in an effort to increase patient confidence and project our ability to work with physicians.

We are hopeful that the CMS Open Payments Database will be a move to consistent reporting of physician collaboration across our industry, protecting our ability to continue to pursue this important interaction for the benefit of patients.

Our Long-Term Commitment to Transparency

Years before the Open Payments Database was mandated as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, Medtronic was taking steps to eliminate conflicts of interest and ensure that treatment decisions are driven by patient needs and physician expertise.


Developed Business Conduct Standards for employees to adhere to.

2002 - 2009

Helped lead development of AdvaMed's Code of Ethics.


Actively supported the introduction of early versions of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act.

Began publishing a quarterly list of charitable donations made to U.S. customers and organizations in support of medical conferences, charitable events, research and public education programs.


Committed to voluntarily disclose physician services compensation.

Developed guiding principles and standards around physician collaboration.


Began disclosing consulting and royalty payments to U.S. physicians on medtronic.com.

Congress passed Physician Payments Sunshine Act as part of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


Payments to physicians by Medtronic and other manufactures are disclosed on CMS' Open Payments website.

Physician Collaboration Drives Innovation

Medtronic's first revolutionary product, a wearable pacemaker, was developed through a close collaboration between our founder Earl Bakken and a University of Minnesota Medical School heart surgeon.

Deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson's Disease and insulin pump therapy are other Medtronic innovations born by collaboration.

Physicians collaborating with industry has led to the development of penicillin, cortisone, CAT scans, laser eye surgery, oral contraceptives, vaccines for chickenpox and hepatitis B, and total knee replacement.

Learn How Enhanced Spine Movement Helps Teacher in the Classroom

See how an Iowa spinal surgeon and Medtronic collaborated to invent a disc that provides greater mobility to patients. Watch the video

Significant Investment to Meet Government Reporting Requirements

Medtronic believes transparency is necessary to maintain public trust in our collaboration. Medtronic invested millions of dollars to develop sound, accurate reporting systems and processes to ensure that we could report data in compliance with CMS regulations.

With more than four years of experience reporting physician payments, Medtronic will continue to provide feedback to CMS in support of the continued evolution of the CMS Open Payments Database.

An Industry Issue

The ability to collaborate with physicians is an important issue for the medical device and pharmaceutical industries. Learn about what other organizations are doing:

Last updated: 30 Sep 2014

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Additional information

Why Collaboration?


Chief Scientific, Clinical and Regulatory Officer Rick Kuntz Discusses the Importance of Innovation and Physician Collaboration.

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