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Thought leadership

Health tech that connects people to quality care

At the intersection of research, science, and patient experience, healthcare technology is leading the way.

By Dr. Laura Mauri, SVP & Chief Scientific and Medical Officer

Real-time monitoring. Remote healthcare with virtual notifications.  Personalized insights to help tailor care to individual needs. That’s connected care — and it’s one of the ways Medtronic is taking a people-centered approach to improving the overall patient experience.

We know that people are at the core of the connected care ecosystem. And when it comes to health and wellbeing, we can make care more personal by considering three critical factors: a patient’s needs, our scientific understanding of the human body, and the ways technology can make better health more accessible.

Medical devices are getting smarter. With advances in technology, they are smaller and more sophisticated — sensing and processing detailed information every millisecond and delivering the appropriate therapy, all within a patient’s body.

A good example is the world’s first hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery system. Medtronic designed this solution with people in mind. It delivers insulin based on continuous glucose monitoring and reduces the need for people with diabetes to actively make adjustments, giving them more freedom to live their lives. Insights collected from patient data can then inform a clinician to help tailor treatment and keep family connected as well.

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Other examples that use wireless connectivity and in-home patient monitoring platforms to connect patients and their care teams include cardiac pacemakers and neurostimulators to treat pain and Parkinson’s disease. So personalized care can happen seamlessly, and in an even more tailored way than before.

These technologies also contribute to a greater understanding of patients’ needs and the science of the human body, enabling the transformation of people-centered, patient-focused care and our understanding of the factors influencing health.

Healthcare technology is creating more connections in new ways, with advances that make care more accessible. Here are some emerging health tech solutions:

  • Surgical robotics can enhance the work of physicians, while creating a network of expertise and knowledge, for more predictable outcomes across the world.

  • Artificial intelligence can help identify which stroke patients need specialized care sooner. For people in smaller hospitals, this can be life changing. By potentially shaving off time for the patient to get the right therapy, this technology can have a tremendous impact on people and their communities.

  • Health tech can also connect people in underserved and remote communities with advanced solutions. Telehealth and the ability to collect and assess data from rural locations are helping democratize care by reducing barriers such as socio-economic status.

To innovate, improve, and make connected care successful, Medtronic is being systematic in our people-first approach. That includes ensuring diverse representation in research and treatment.

In the past, most developments in healthcare technology sprang from close collaboration between a doctor and an engineer. While that expertise is important for understanding the human body and technology, we also need information about how people interact with the technology.

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More and more, we seek to understand what the patient wants and how products will be used in real life. We need to continue listening to those receiving care, and their families and communities, so we’re better able to ensure they’re getting the full benefit of what's available.”


–Dr. Laura Mauri, SVP & Chief Scientific and Medical Officer

Because not all patients are the same, it’s vital for us to prioritize the needs of diverse communities.

For example, more than 35 million people live with diabetes in the United States. However, Black and Hispanic Americans with diabetes are two to three times less likely to use technology to treat the disease, compared to white Americans. Medtronic is working to remove some of the barriers that lead to this disparity through interventions in diabetes care, increasing diverse representation in clinical studies, partnering with provider centers, and educating patients. Hypertension, stroke, and other heart and neurologic conditions also disproportionately affect communities of color and warrant dedicated attention through similar collaborations.

It can help to think of connected care like a circle. It starts with the patient. Then data and insights that can be used by their care team. Then that information can expand into the wider community to benefit others and improve access.

With connected care, we’re using science and technology to focus on what people really need. To advance the wellbeing of people around the world — and to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend lives — we must continue improving and evolving.