Medtronic CEO predicts AI, machine learning as 'the new frontier for medtech' — 4 key quotes

Spinal Tech

On a December call as part of the 39th annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha shared insights on the company's robotic and spine strategies for the future.

SeekingAlpha transcribed and published the call Jan. 11. Four key quotes from the event:

1. ... on robotic focus: "We are leading the development of robotics in the spine and cranial space and preparing for our entry into the soft tissue robotic surgery with our Hugo system. Robotics is quickly becoming a core technology at Medtronic that we intend to leverage not only in spine and for soft tissue surgery, but for many more areas across the company."

2. ... on artificial intelligence and machine learning: "You are also seeing us ... putting the tech into medtech with our efforts in data, machine learning and artificial intelligence. This is the new frontier for medtech and we are leading our industry in collecting datasets and developing algorithms. We are doing this in spine with our recent acquisition of Medicrea and its use of data and AI in preoperative planning to create personalized spine implants.

3. ... on emerging markets: "We have a strong growth tailwind by utilizing the commercial channels we have in emerging markets around the world. Growing in emerging markets remains a key priority for Medtronic... Under [Omar Ishrak’s] leadership, we invested heavily in building out the focus and capabilities of our emerging market businesses going from sales of $1.5 billion 10 years ago to now approaching $5 billion of revenue. And going forward, we are moving to even greater localization, customizing our therapies and services to those markets, especially our larger emerging markets like China."

4.  ... on spinal cord stimulators: "Our neuromodulation business, where we ceded share over the last few years, we are now back on the offensive having launched major new technology in both pain [stimulation] and brain modulation. In pain [stimulation], we are seeing strong adoption of our DTM therapy on our Intellis spinal cord [stimulator] platform. And most of this growth is coming from competitive accounts."

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