Putting the Tech in Medtech

Advancing innovation to create
modern medical marvels

Making the Impossible Possible

A pacemaker the size of a large vitamin is “listening” as blood flows from the heart’s upper chamber to the lower chamber. When it detects the correct vibration, the tiny, wireless device sends an electronic signal to the lower chamber to sync it with the upper chamber, keeping the heart beating as it should. Two decades ago, such technology sounded like science fiction. Yet today, it is unlocking the world’s most complex operating system — the human body. By using tools like artificial intelligence (AI), robotic-assisted surgery, data analytics, and predictive modeling, we are creating a bold new era in personalized medicine, one where technology makes healthcare more efficient, accessible, and equitable. We have seen the future, and it is distinctly digital.


Big Data, Big Results

If oil was the commodity that defined the past few centuries, data is the resource that will shape the next. At Medtronic, we’re using AI and machine learning to sift through mountains of data and develop the next generation of sensing technologies to power neurostimulators, pacemakers, insulin pumps, and surgical tools. Our smart devices are designed to be smaller, work faster, and help physicians tailor care for patients like never before. Imagine a not-so-distant future in which data-driven solutions can optimize therapies for patients in real time. We can.

Combining computer models and real-world data, our engineers build virtual representations — or “digital twins” — of devices to predict how they will respond in the human body under various circumstances. That testing capability helps create the most effective medical technology. “When we bring together the mechanistic understanding [of a device] and patient data, we get a much more complete picture about how that device and the patient will co-exist,” explains Medtronic Distinguished Scientist Mark Palmer.

Some of the greatest advances in medical technology are unfolding right now at Medtronic.

–Geoff Martha, Medtronic Chairman and Chief Executive Officer


Connected Tech Reduces Worry

The pressures of parenting begin the day your child is born. When your child is living with a chronic disease like Type 1 diabetes, the concern is only amplified. With the Medtronic hybrid closed loop system for Type 1 diabetes — which combines insulin pump therapy and continuous glucose monitoring — patients and caregivers can find peace of mind. Approved for use in patients as young as 2, the latest system also provides smartphone connectivity, providing both patients and caregivers regular updates and alerts. And the power of connected care is available for diabetes patients who rely on multiple daily injections (MDIs) too, thanks to the integration of our continuous glucose monitoring system with the only smart insulin pen cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Now up-to-date glucose readings and dosage information can be tracked on a single app.

 

Our new robotic-assisted surgery platform is designed to deliver the most meaningful solution for surgeons, hospitals, and the central focus of our work, patients.

–Megan Rosengarten, President, Surgical Robotics, Medtronic


New Tech, New Frontiers

Already, robots help deliver our packages and clean our homes. Making hard-to-reach places more accessible, robotic systems are likely to become operating room essentials, too. While they don’t replace the expertise of surgeons, our robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) technologies are designed to provide unparalleled access and precision in complex spine and cranial procedures and minimally invasive soft-tissue surgeries. Combining robotic-assisted surgery with next-generation computing, visualization, and artificial intelligence may give clinicians a new way to deliver more predictable, standardized — yet personalized — patient care. By adding a new surgical video and data platform, users record, store, and analyze procedures. Now every surgery can be a learning opportunity to improve outcomes, propelling the age-old adage “see one, do one, teach one” to a new level.

 

Technology Has Evolved, and So Have We

  

Predicting the future is never easy, but here’s what we do know: Pioneering new technologies will lead us all to a better tomorrow. At Medtronic, our engineers and scientists are among the brightest minds in the world and are working to accelerate technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, and cloud computing. We may not know what the future holds just yet, but we’re committed to building a better way forward, starting now.

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