10 May, 2020
The Medtronic Mission is clear: we put our patients first. Just prior to the activation of mandatory self-isolation rules for travel between Australia and New Zealand, the following extraordinary leap of faith played out reinforcing just how far our team will go to live our Mission. Here’s what happened.
At around 9pm on Tuesday 10 March, Medtronic team members in Sydney were alerted of a very ill patient in Auckland. The patient required a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) implant urgently. But there was no technology, case support or Proctor* on the ground to deliver the care they needed.
A VAD is a heart pump to increase the amount of blood that flows through the body for patients with medically diagnosis advanced heart failure. The VAD may serve as a bridge-to-transplant for patients awaiting a heart transplant or as a last treatment option to provide long-term support for patients who are not eligible for a heart transplant. Time is critical.
Given the urgency and unprecedented challenge of COVID-19, our team left nothing to chance. The technology was hand delivered for safe keeping and the team gained approval to fly to Auckland to offer case support. The procedure was a success, but the story doesn’t end there. During this time, another patient at the same hospital also required access to the lifesaving technology and our team jumped into action again. With both procedures a success our team made the journey home – just as the self-isolation rules for residents returning home kicked in. No-one hesitated – this technology was the patient’s last hope – and Medtronic delivered.
And it’s something we do every day for our patients. The value of medical technology extends beyond the production of the device itself, to everything we do to ensure that patients who will benefit, receive access to medical technology and services to help them live well.
* A Proctor is when a physician oversees / observes the VAD implant, providing guidance throughout the procedure if required.
27 April, 2020
Medtronic Senior Director: Market Access, Public Affairs & Policy, Andrew Wiltshire, provides an insight into the challenges facing medical technology companies during the COVID-19 crisis and the measures Medtronic has taken in response. He also reflects on the lessons for health policy that we can take from the crisis. The blog is published on Committee for Economic Development of Australia website. Read more here.
17 April, 2020
A 10-year-old girl living with Type one diabetes (T1D), from Burnie, Tasmania was the first person in Australia to access the MiniMed insulin pump via a remote pump start on 25 March 2020 under the new Telehealth COVID-19 guidance.
Working with the pump coordinator and Diabetes Educator servicing North West Regional Hospital as well as the Tasmanian Health Services newly appointed Telehealth IT team, our team member, Katy, initiated this new telehealth option to adhere to social distancing guidance, while also ensuring patient’s access to this life-changing therapy was not delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The education component and information delivery was ‘virtually’ the same as if the activity was happening normally, with Katy asking additional questions and taking her time to ensure that the patient and her family understood all the essential training steps. Remote pump and CGM starts are now being activated across the country for other members of our community living with T1D – an important initiative given better control of blood sugar levels can help strengthen their immune system.
“It is inspiring to work for an innovative company that will support employees who take calculated risks and are willing to go above and beyond their normal work to deliver our technologies and services to sectors where they are needed the most,” Katy said.
"True to the Medtronic Mission, the health and safety of our customers, their patients, and our employees remains our highest priority as we address this unprecedented outbreak. In ANZ, our team proactively plans for events such as this and have taken several steps to ensure our business continuity which supports our local operations and employees."
Vice President, Australia and New Zealand
VP, Diabetes, Asia Pacific
We are working 24/7; we are reallocating our people to critical product manufacturing; and we are increasing our overall production for COVID-19-related products. Other lifesaving products – insulin pumps, pacemakers, heart valves, brain stents, and others – are still needed, and our people continue to produce them.
We thank all of our Australian and New Zealand employees for their commitment and perseverance through this challenging time. Their passion and dedication for their work and for the patients who receive our products inspires us.
For providing seamless service to our patients, customers, and staff during the Sydney office shutdown.
ANZ CARELINK 360 SUPPORT TEAM
CRHF, CVG, Australia and New Zealand
For repairing hospital equipment as quickly as possible in a critical time like this.
In-House Repair Representative, Australia and New Zealand
For building a united team to fight COVID-19!
Director, Environmental Health and Safety, APAC
For providing IT support and training on how we can best work from home.
Technical User Support Analyst, Australia and New Zealand
For keeping a safe, healthy, and clean workplace for us at all times.
Facilities Coordinator, Australia and New Zealand
For going above and beyond for all customers, ensuring they have the right product at the right time or a suitable alternative.
Sales Coordinator, MITG, Australia and New Zealand
For demonstrating such incredible empathy, support, and composure during this challenging time.
Director, HR, Australia and New Zealand
For going to Manila to train the new Front Office Customer Care team and continuing the training remotely due to travel restrictions.
COURTNEY JACKSON AND CHLOE MARCHEVSKY
Customer Service, Australia and New Zealand
For single-handedly launching CardioInsight successfully in ANZ and supporting our first remote-support CardioInsight case at Royal Melbourne Hospital during COVID-19.
Territory Manager, CVG AFS, Australia and New Zealand