The head of Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) — the world’s largest medical device company — thinks that medtech could enable healthcare that is much more individualized than it is today.
“We are heading down a path of large-scale personalized healthcare and delivering it in an efficient way. And the key to that is data,” Martha said.
An algorithm on an implantable device, for example, could ping a physician to warn that their patient’s AFib is heating up and help them catch it early. Martha said that a host of medical conditions could be better managed with AI insights from device data. In the process, a device company such as Medtronic could help a much larger swath of the population better manage its health.
“That’s how we go from 72 million patients a year to 1 billion patients a year. Some company is going to do that. And I’d like to see Medtronic do that,” Martha said.
Areas that have Martha excited include surgical robotics, where the company is moving forward on its Hugo robotic system to compete against Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci robots. The Hugo system won CE Mark approval in Europe last year.
“It’s not just the robot; it’s the ecosystem around the robot in the surgical suite that’s making the game-changers,” Martha said.
Martha also thinks medtech companies can drive meaningful progress with miniaturization and battery technology (leadless pacemakers, for example), sensing technology and machine learning (combining sensing technology with modern data analytics), and remote monitoring and programming.