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Innovation: The pulse of healthcare

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In a rapidly evolving landscape driven by technology, solutions that satisfy patient care remain key, says Medtronic's Majid Kaddoumi.

Technology is transforming healthcare in unprecedented ways to meet the demands of personalised patient care in the 21st century. Guided by advancements in digital healthcare innovations, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, or nanotechnology, the future of healthcare lies in a collaboration between healthcare specialists, scientists, patients, and corporations. In a conversation with Omnia Health Insights, Majid Kaddoumi, President Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa at Medtronic, discusses how breakthroughs in medical technology will elevate patient outcomes.

Geoff Martha, Medtronic Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer said, “Some of the greatest advances in medical technology are unfolding right now at Medtronic”. Can you tell us about these advancements and how are they impacting the healthcare industry?

At Medtronic, we are on a mission to continue unlocking the world’s most complex living system — the human body. Naturally, this is closely followed by the advancement of instruments that help us understand it better. Today, we are using more advanced tools like artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, predictive modelling, and robotic-assisted surgery to optimise patients’ prevention and treatment based on their individual health needs. As a result, we are creating a bold new era in personalised medicine, one where technology is at the centre stage and makes healthcare more efficient, accessible, and equitable.  

For instance, cardiovascular disease patients require frequent medical appointments. During the pandemic, however, non-COVID-related health emergencies were delayed, leading to a disruption in the management of chronic conditions, such as stroke and heart disease. Nevertheless, with a Bluetooth-enabled pacemaker and an associated app on patients’ phones, many patients were able to adhere to a remote monitoring regimen. This revolutionary solution is leading to better clinical outcomes, as well as earning accolades from both patients and doctors; Cleveland Clinic for example nominated smartphone-connected pacemakers, such as ours, as one of the top 10 medical innovations of 2021.

For chronic diseases, we truly believe addressing them when they occur and enabling earlier diagnosis and treatment is key to creating better clinical outcomes. For this reason, we are focused on developing smaller and smarter devices that can be connected to healthcare providers for better outcomes in a more time-effective way.

How is Big data shaping the future of healthcare?

Big data brings with it enormous volumes of data. At Medtronic, we’re using AI and machine learning to sift through the 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 deliver tailored care more than ever before. Imagine a not-so-distant future where data-driven solutions can optimise therapies for patients in real-time. Combining computer models and real-world data, our engineers are building virtual representations — also called “digital twins” — of our medical devices to predict how they will respond in the human body under various circumstances. The extensive testing capability helps create the most effective medical technology. When we bring together world-leading engineering expertise and device understanding combined with patient data, we get a much more complete picture of how that device and the patient will co-exist.

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Majid Kaddoumi, President Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa at Medtronic

Does robotic-assisted surgery enhance outcomes? Is it on the verge of wider adoption?

Combining robotic-assisted surgery with next-generation computing, visualisation, and artificial intelligence can give clinicians a new way to deliver more predictable, standardised, yet personalised patient care. By adding a new surgical video and data platform, doctors can also record, store, and analyse procedures. As a result, this can turn every surgery into a learning opportunity to improve clinical outcomes, propelling the age-old adage “see one, do one, teach one” to a new level.

How successful has the Medtronic hybrid closed loop system been in improving patient management? 

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 two years old, the latest system also provides smartphone connectivity, providing both patients and caregivers regular updates and alerts. In addition, 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.

The future of healthcare is digital, what future solutions does Medtronic have in its pipeline?

Stemming from the promising developments in artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, and sensing technology, Medtronic’s medical devices are advancing chronic disease management by empowering clinicians to personalise medicine more than ever before. These technologies can detect, analyse, and react to ever-changing conditions in the human body, providing revelatory insights into individual patients, in real-time.

We are also very thrilled to reveal that we have over 130 new smart devices in the pipeline designed to treat cardiac complications, chronic pain, brain-related disorders, urinary incontinence, and diabetes in addition to being smaller, smarter, and less invasive devices that recharge faster and hold full capacity for longer.

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