As the world came together to fight the coronavirus, we reached out to collaborators and competitors alike to help support hospitals and healthcare workers. To meet the surging global demand for ventilators, we partnered with companies like Space Exploration Corporation (SpaceX), Elon Musk’s California-based company that manufactures and operates the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. By temporarily producing a critical ventilator valve, SpaceX assisted Medtronic in strengthening our stockpile. We also transformed the way these devices operated to help protect the brave healthcare workers using them. By working with Intel, for example, we expedited efforts to develop remote operation capabilities for our most advanced ventilators.
Before the pandemic, hospital systems and health insurance companies were slow to adopt telehealth solutions. But in just a few short weeks, it became the new norm. We quickly adapted our home-based remote monitoring platforms — typically used to manage those with chronic conditions — so healthcare professionals could remotely assess, monitor, and triage patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. This helped keep at-risk patients safe at home and tempered demand on the healthcare system. Several of our implanted devices can directly connect to patients’ smartphones which also allowed clinicians to remotely check device data without in-person visits. Moreover, our in-hospital remote patient monitoring systems enable clinicians to monitor multiple patients at once, allowing administrators to stretch limited staffing resources.