Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Healthcare

Reinventing medtech with AI, data analytics, and sensors

Brooke manages her condition using a Medtronic device.

 

For millions of people around the world, managing a chronic health condition is a daily challenge. Not only do diseases like cancer, hypertension, and diabetes exact heavy personal tolls, they also contribute to soaring global healthcare costs.

But it doesn’t have to always be this way.

Through developments in artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, and sensors, medical devices are advancing chronic disease management by empowering clinicians to personalize medicine like never before. These technologies can detect, analyze, and react to ever-changing conditions in the human body, providing revelatory insights into individual patients, in real time.
 

How Data and Innovation Drive the Future of Healthcare

Think how easy it is to order an item on Amazon. You click a few buttons and a package arrives the next day. Patients expect healthcare to deliver similar benefits that technology brings to other parts of their lives. That’s why we’re accelerating the development of technologies that can help patients manage their disease while living their lives to the fullest. By harnessing the power of AI, data analytics, and sensors, our medical devices are helping clinicians create individualized treatment plans to achieve better patient outcomes. From the world’s first hybrid closed loop insulin delivery system to robotic-assisted surgery, these devices are ushering in a new era in patient care.
 

“With the introduction of artificial intelligence applied to our medical devices, the possibility for improving patient lives has reached an entirely new level. We are experiencing where the impossible is becoming possible right now.”

–Bob White, Executive Vice President and President, Medical Surgical Portfolio, Medtronic

Bob White

It's Not Sci-Fi, It's AI

Artificial intelligence plays a major role in our daily lives. It does everything from dictate content in our social media feeds to enable digital assistants like Siri and Alexa. And now, AI is becoming an integral part of healthcare because of advances in computing and sensing technologies, the expansion of available data, and the creation of better algorithms. As we continue to unlock the continuous data our devices and therapies generate, AI and machine learning are increasingly important tools at Medtronic. That's why we're actively adding innovative AI technologies to our research and design capabilities. Already, AI plays a pivotal role in the company's robotic-assisted surgery platforms, colonoscopy and endoscopy systems, and insulin pumps. Recently, we launched the only FDA cleared "smart" insulin pen that integrates glucose sensor data, putting the power of AI to work for patients with Type 1 diabetes who rely on multiple daily injections. The future of healthcare has arrived.
 

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How a Medtronic "Genius" Is Fighting Cancer

Colorectal cancer is highly treatable if it’s detected early. But that’s the problem; it’s not always easy to catch. Enter the GI Genius™ intelligent endoscopy module, the only commercially available computer-aided detection system using AI to identify colorectal polyps during a colonoscopy. The system works by scanning every visual frame of the procedure in milliseconds and alerts physicians to the presence of lesions — including small, flat polyps that can easily go undetected by the human eye. In other words, it helps detect the undetected.

  

Big Data, Big Benefits

For patients with Type 1 diabetes, a "one size fits all" approach to treatment doesn’t really work given the highly variable way people metabolize food. For years, clinicians struggled to personalize treatments to avoid the extreme sugar highs and lows associated with diabetes. Then Medtronic launched the world’s first hybrid closed loop insulin delivery system, a game-changing technology that delivers insulin based on continuous glucose monitoring. It is one of our "smart" devices capable of analyzing continuous streams of data and quickly making necessary adjustments. So how do our devices "know" how the body will react to certain therapies? By combining computer models and real-world data, our engineers are building virtual representations, or "digital twins," of some devices to predict how they will respond in the human body under various circumstances.

  

  

How Sensors Tailor Treatments

The workings of the myriad cells that make up the human body are a huge mystery. By measuring things like carbon dioxide levels, blood oxygen saturation, respiration, and heart rate, sensors can help clinicians understand how the body is functioning at any given time. Sensing technology in therapies and solutions with machine pattern recognition, such as continuous glucose monitoring and cardiac pacing, can promote rapid and accurate readings, which aid in early detection. In some of our implantable devices, sensors are used without human intervention, collecting data to adjust performance to each patient's needs. For example, our smallest pacemaker — the world's smallest, in fact — features sensing algorithms to detect irregular cardiac rhythms. The device can then adjust pacing in the ventricle to coordinate with the atrium.
 

Technology Is Fueling Personalized Medicine

No two patients are ever the same, even if they have a common chronic illness. They deserve personalized treatment. Artificial intelligence, sensing technology, and data analytics can help streamline clinical decision making to improve patient outcomes.

 

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