FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
In the past century, the leading causes of death – infectious diseases – declined dramatically thanks to the development of vaccines, improved sanitation, greater public health awareness and modern medicine. Overall mortality from things like the flu and pneumonia decreased by more than 50 per cent, while life expectancy has risen by 30 years.1
However, this shift brings new challenges. Chronic diseases – such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes – are projected to account for 87 per cent of all deaths in high-income countries.2 As health systems are designed around treating acute needs rather than long-term interactions with patients, these chronic conditions continue to rise. We have to find ways to work together as an industry to find new ways to address these conditions.
At Medtronic, we are committed to accelerating the development of meaningful innovations for patients with chronic diseases – innovations that add real value in better patient outcomes at appropriate costs, lead to enhanced quality of life, and can be validated by clinical and economic evidence. This year alone we have invested US$1.5 billion in research and development to bring meaningful innovations to market. And we’re not just thinking about this at the product level, we’re developing innovations for the therapy, procedure and system levels.