The COVID-19 pandemic will end.
Our support for healthcare systems and patients won’t.
Hope is on the horizon. Scientists are unraveling the mysteries behind COVID-19, clinicians are improving care of COVID-19 patients, and people are getting vaccinated. But the discovery of new, highly contagious variants of the virus requires continued vigilance. As the World Health Organization recently acknowledged, we are caught in a pandemic paradox of hope and hardship.
Since the pandemic began, Medtronic has been gathering resources, solutions, and best practices for healthcare leaders through its COVID-19 Recovery Resource Center. Medtronic and Harvard Business Review sponsored a three-part virtual series, bringing together more than 100 executives from some of the top health systems in the United States to share successful strategies in the fight against COVID-19. We also are offering our expertise in areas such as hospital productivity, patient engagement, and remote monitoring and support.
During the pandemic, patients all over the world canceled surgeries. At St. Joseph’s Hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany, the cancellations created a significant backlog for atrial fibrillation procedures. But Dr. Joachim Ehrlich and his cardiac team had a solution. Using a Medtronic cardiac cryoballoon catheter system, the team treated 27 patients over three days, a 50% increase over typical capacity. The “cryo marathon” significantly reduced the backlog, putting the hospital in better position to care for patients.
Supporting healthcare workers starts with keeping them safe. As the pandemic accelerated in the fall of 2020, Medtronic donated more than 400,000 N95 surgical masks and 430,000 KN95 respirators for distribution in global COVID-19 hotspots. Since January 2020, the company, together with the Medtronic Foundation, has given more than $56 million to COVID-19 relief efforts.
Telehealth has been a gamechanger in the fight against COVID-19. Remote care protects patients and clinicians, while creating efficiencies in care delivery. A survey of more than 1,600 U.S. healthcare providers1 showed that 70% plan on using virtual care technologies after the pandemic ends. Several Medtronic implanted devices can now directly connect to patients’ smartphones and allow clinicians to remotely check device data without in-person visits.
Our in-hospital remote patient monitoring systems enable clinicians to monitor multiple patients at once, allowing administrators to stretch limited staffing resources. Our home-based remote patient monitoring solutions are designed to track symptoms around numerous conditions including respiratory infectious disease, so care teams may intervene if the patient shows signs of decline. These solutions can also help clinicians monitor for deadly secondary infections that can arise as a patient is recovering from COVID-19.
“This pandemic is reshaping our world, emphasizing the need for solutions that bridge the divide between healthcare professionals and the technology they rely on to treat patients.”
–John Liddicoat, M.D., Executive Vice President and President, Medtronic Americas Region
While no one relishes the thought of another global health crisis, we must be prepared for the next. Medtronic Chairman and CEO Geoff Martha shared the company’s vision for building crisis-resistant healthcare systems in a post COVID-19 world at a panel sponsored by the World Economic Forum. We recognize the challenging work ahead and remain committed to helping our healthcare partners recover, rebuild, and redefine themselves.