Brampton’s Medtronic Innovating Healthcare

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Medtronic Brampton Globe and Mail 2018 Perspective
Medtronic's Brampton, Ontario campus is now the Canadian Headquarters housing a training and education centre, sales, marketing, and administrative functions. Medtronic employs over 1,100 people in Canada. It has a small regional office in Vancouver and a large regional office in Montreal, which serves as an extension of the head office.
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Brampton-based Medtronic Canada sees its role as more than developing the cardiac pacemakers, insulin pumps, and other leading-edge medical devices for which it’s known. Medtronic is collaborating with health system leaders to apply its expertise in technology and innovation to help transform healthcare systems struggling to remain sustainable in the face of rising costs, clinical pressures, and aging populations.

That’s why its Integrated Health Solutions (IHS) business moves beyond devices to focus on system-level services and solutions. Medtronic IHS helps hospitals and health systems align value across the care continuum by delivering more efficient and improved care to patients.

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For example, IHS worked with Brampton Civic Hospital’s Diabetes Education Centre to find solutions to increase the number of new patient visits, boost capacity for classes, and decrease the number of no-shows. As a result, wait times were reduced from up to two months, to less than 3 weeks.

Similarly, the New Brunswick Heart Centre leveraged Medtronic’s deep clinical and operational expertise and, within six months, increased operating room capacity by 14% and reduced average wait times by 44% from about 4 months to 2 months (i.e., from 118 to 66 days).

“If you think of the system itself as a patient suffering from sustainability challenges and burnout,” says Neil Fraser, president of Medtronic Canada, “what we’re trying to do is address an illness that can be helped through technology, innovation, and collaboration. This is consistent with our mission of alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life because there’s a lot of pain in the system. And there’s also a lot we can do in the areas where we have expertise to continue to help the Canadian healthcare system improve.”

To that end, Medtronic is working with the healthcare system to improve access to medical technologies through a value-based approach, which promises to deliver better outcomes for patients at a lower cost to the system by focusing on value rather than volume. This involves collaborating with hospitals on patient pathways, with clinicians and researchers on clinical trials, and with health organizations and ministries on removing obstacles to value-based healthcare.

Looking to the future of Medtronic and the healthcare system, Fraser says, “So many things are changing as a result of technology and the social networks that are available. We’re increasingly incorporating patient-reported outcomes and experiences into the way we measure the success of our products and the impact of changing healthcare policy on patient outcomes.”

Medtronic understands that to benefit from transformative innovations, it must also make healthcare more sustainable. The future of value-based healthcare will hinge on collaboration between industry, physicians, health system leaders, and patients.

In 2018, Medtronic is celebrating 50 years of collaborating with Canadian doctors on devices such as spinal implants, insertable cardiac monitors, and cryoablation technologies. It is looking forward to further collaborating with doctors and health system leaders over the next 50 years to not only develop breakthroughs in technology, but also breakthroughs in how healthcare is delivered.