How Medtech Is Changing Where We Get Care

Remote technology delivering virtual care from anywhere

Long gone are the days of house calls. Today, patients typically go into a doctor’s office or hospital to receive care. But that delivery model isn’t always efficient or expedient. In a digital-first era where technology is transforming many industries, healthcare has been trailing in adoption. But the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything, and virtual healthcare rapidly gained acceptance as both patients and clinicians realized the benefits. Your doctor will see you now — but it might be by phone or computer.

The Evolution of Remote Technology

Technology that provides remote solutions for care is here to stay, but it’s hardly new for us. Remote technology works in conjunction with several Medtronic insulin pumps, pacemakers, and other implantable devices. From in-home remote patient monitoring platforms to Bluetooth®-enabled pacemakers and ventilators that can be operated remotely, we’re transforming the way patients are assessed, monitored, and treated. And along the way, we’re removing some of the traditional barriers to healthcare for patients while creating opportunities for greater access.

The Wireless Revolution Is Underway

Frequent medical appointments are a fact of life for most heart patients. But Bluetooth®-enabled cardiac devices and phone apps make adhering to a remote monitoring regimen easier than ever. The Cleveland Clinic recently ranked “smartphone-connected pacemaker devices” number three on its annual Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2021 list. Wireless connectivity is transforming the way many implantable devices operate, giving patients and their clinicians more flexibility, increased safety, and greater time management.

“Just like many of us could not imagine living life without an iPad™, remote monitoring will become a ubiquitous part of how medicine is practiced and how care is delivered to patients around the world.”

–Frank Chan, President of Patient Monitoring at Medtronic


Frank Chan

Expanding the Reach of Care Providers

Our leadership in digital health monitoring goes back decades — including launching the world’s first remote cardiac monitoring system, back in 2002. Since then, that technology has evolved and become easier for users through the synchronization of devices like tablets and cell phones. Now clinicians can remotely monitor patients who have certain Medtronic cardiac devices paired with a smartphone app. Remote monitoring is also at the core of Medtronic Care Management Services (MCMS). A long-time leader in telehealth, MCMS uses a combination of remote patient monitoring technology and care management services to help clinicians stay virtually connected to patients with chronic conditions and post-acute recovery needs from the comfort of their own homes. This remote monitoring technology was especially useful during the pandemic, allowing providers to monitor respiratory infectious disease symptoms of high-risk patients while they safely sheltered in place.

 

A woman shows her tablet to a man and points to something on the screen.

Dr. Zoom, I Presume?

Remote technology truly became a staple of modern healthcare when the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, like when doctors in New York needed help remotely monitoring patients admitted to a temporary field hospital. We quickly installed several remote technologies to create a system that allowed about 10 clinicians to remotely monitor about 400 patients. We also rolled out the capability to remotely operate ventilators outside of a patient’s room.

Virtual Classrooms Aren’t Just for Kids

With virtual training, we can connect more people around the world with necessary expertise. Our clinical support teams have found new ways — including augmented and virtual reality — to train medical professionals on our devices and therapies. When a doctor in Qatar reached out for help operating one of our implantable pain medication pumps, a Medtronic specialist more than 500 miles away in Saudi Arabia walked him through the steps via a virtual chat. When ventilator demand reached an all-time high during the pandemic, we worked with other manufacturers to create an app that provides free mobile access to video overviews, instruction manuals, and other training materials for hospital staff.

Healthcare Innovation That’s Here to Stay

As a leader in innovative technology, we recognize that the needs of patients and the clinicians who serve them are constantly changing. We continue to pivot and adapt to meet those needs. The future of healthcare has no limits — and neither do our remote solutions.
 

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