Earl Bakken etched the concept of meaningful innovation into everything at Medtronic. It inspired him to develop the first battery-powered cardiac pacemaker in 1957, and is central to what we do today, seven decades later.
Our therapies help two people every second1 , delivering on our Mission to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life. At Medtronic, we believe
patient-focused innovation — and strong partnerships — remain key to an even better, more impactful future.
Chronic diseases are a leading cause of death worldwide, yet most healthcare systems are built around acute needs, rather than prevention and long-term disease management. Continued innovation is needed to not only address disease when it occurs, but to improve outcomes and reduce cost through earlier diagnosis and treatment of disease.
Our teams have already begun to develop technologies and solutions that help anticipate, adapt and react to patient needs beyond the hospital setting. For example, a recent global study of heart failure patients indicated certain benefits of a specific Medtronic algorithm found on the company’s cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) devices, compared to conventional biventricular pacing therapy.4,5,6
Like algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI), great potential exists in areas such as biosensors, augmented reality, and material science.
Additive manufacturing (3D printing) in the industry, alone, is expected to nearly triple by 2021.7
Navigating this new era of more personalised, precision medicine, we work with patients and clinicians every day to identify and address unmet needs across the healthcare system.
Innovation in the surgical space continues, and in the future we believe more surgical procedures will be facilitated by robotic, navigational or automated technologies. Research by Cambridge Medical Robotics suggests robotic surgery will grow to five times its present scale by 2025.9 As more procedures become facilitated by this kind of technology, we see great potential across the care continuum for patients, and intend to be a leader in advancing computer-assisted minimally invasive procedures well into the future.
Our growing, global network of innovation centers provides critical insight to the nuances that exist in healthcare delivery from one region to another.
And at our Applied Innovation Lab in Minnesota, a 360-degree “holodeck” provides an immersive experience to help scientists and engineers understand the needs of healthcare providers in remote regions and identify root causes of barriers to care. Such technology played a key role during a 2016 pilot program in Ghana and Kenya that has since led to the creation of Medtronic Labs Empower Health™, a novel hypertension management model intended to reduce the burden and improve the efficiency of managing hypertension for both patients and clinicians in emerging geographies.10
After only a year on the market in Australia, the Medtronic MiniMed 670G™ is transforming diabetes management, allowing patients with type 1 diabetes to spend more time doing the things that make them happy and less time worrying about their disease.
That’s exactly what Leanne Foster has done since she began using the Medtronic MiniMed™ 670G system – a much-anticipated technological breakthrough for diabetes management in the region.
“The system has taken away some of the chores and the worries of diabetes,” said Foster, the first Australian to be fitted with the commercial device, which was locally released in February 2019. “I find the 670G just ticks along and adjusts accordingly, helping manage any fluctuations.”
The MiniMed™ 670G has been hailed a “game changer” by patients and healthcare professionals in Australia, where more than 120,000 people live with type 1 diabetes. In fact, after spending a few months on the commercial market, the system earned the Australian medtech industry’s highest honor, the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) Kerrin Rennie Award in recognition of its innovative and extraordinary contribution in improving health outcomes of Australian patients.
More than 3,500 people are currently using the MiniMed™ 670G insulin pump, signaling a major shift in how Australians are managing their disease. Prior to the MiniMed™ 670G, people with Type 1 diabetes had two primary treatment options – pumps (either standalone, or with predicted low-glucose suspend) or daily injections.
The MiniMed™ 670G system automatically adjusts to deliver precise amounts of insulin based on continuous glucose monitor (CGM) readings taken every five minutes. The system features the company’s most advanced SmartGuard™ algorithm and new Guardian™ Sensor 3, which together work to maximise the time people are within a set target glucose range.
The monitoring feature helps minimise the “highs” and “lows” patients taking daily injections often experience. Data collected by Medtronic shows that patients using the MiniMed™ 670G are now on an average Time in Range of 72% (as at December 2019), a result that exceeds the recommended TIR consensus guidelines of 70% that were published in 201911.
We envision a day in the near future when capabilities like 3D printing will allow physicians to order customised devices manufactured for specific patients; and training on the latest surgical procedures will happen using augmented reality. Longer term, with the help of our partners, we anticipate a day when chronic disease management becomes effortless for patients, cancer treatment is nothing more than a day procedure, and debilitating heart and brain conditions are not only more treatable, but entirely preventable.
For the millions of patients we serve, the future starts today. We invite you to share in the possibilities, and help us take healthcare Further, Together.
Read the Medtronic Perspective on Meaningful Innovation:
Meaningful Innovation: The Spirit That Drives Us (PDF)
Birnie D, et al. Continuous optimization of cardiac resynchronization therapy reduces atrial fibrillation in heart failure patients: Results of the Adaptive Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Trial. Heart Rhythm. December 2017;14(12):1820-1825.
Starling R, et al. Impact of a Novel Adaptive Optimization Algorithm on 30-day readmissions: Evidence from the Adaptive CRT Trial. JACC Heart Fail. July 2015;3(7):565-572.
Lemke B, et al. Atrial Fibrillation Resource Use with An Adaptive Device Algorithm. Presented at Cardiostim Congress 2014.
Battelino T, et al. Diabetes Care 2019 Aug; 42(8): 1593-1603