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47 - Medtronic, MedTech Innovation Special



Medtronic is one of the world's largest medical technology companies, but it came from humble beginnings over 70 years ago.


Their first life-changing therapy — a wearable, battery-powered cardiac pacemaker — was the foundation for many more Medtronic therapies that use their electrical stimulation expertise to improve the lives of millions of people.

Over the years, Medtronic has developed more core technologies, including the first battery-powered pacemaker, a number of implantable mechanical devices, drug and biologic delivery devices, and powered and advanced energy surgical instruments. Today, their technologies are used to treat nearly 70 medical conditions.

The concept of meaningful innovation is at the heart of everything that happens at Medtronic.  In this episode, Peter Birch speaks with a few different guests to get the full picture on Medtronic, innovation and the medtech industry. 

You’ll learn about the history of Medtronic, how it maintains its position as a pioneer of medtech, and how it fosters a culture of innovation internally.  You’ll hear about their Eureka Live program and how the company engages with the medtech industry to maintain its reputation as a lead innovator. You will also hear from Dr Buzz Palmer, CEO of the MedTech Actuator, as he reflects  on the challenges and opportunities facing the medtech industry today.


First up is Andrew Whiltshire.  He is Senior Director, Market Access, Public Affairs & Policy for both Australia and New Zealand at Medtronic.  He is also sits on the Board of the Medical Technology Association of Australia

Andrew has been with Medtronic for over 24 years, and he is responsible for Health Economics, Market Access, Policy and Government and Stakeholder Relations at Medtronic, as well as coordinating Government Affairs for the APAC region.  


Pete spoke with Andrew first, to get to know a bit more about the background of Medtronic and how they bake innovation into everything they do.


Next up Pete spoke with Prajni Sadananda.  Prajni is the Business Development & Corporate Strategy Manager at Medtronic, where her key focus is on investment opportunities and partnerships that can help accelerate business growth.


Prajni is also responsible for Medtronic’s Eureka Live program - where they are on the hunt for innovative companies that are keen to scale up and collaborate with Medtronic from across Australia and New Zealand.


Check out Prajni’s interview to learn a bit more about the Eureka Live program.


Lastly, Pete spoke with Dr Buzz Palmer - one of Australia’s leading and most visible voices in entrepreneurship and MedTech innovation. 


He’s the CEO of the MedTech Actuator, founding partner in Dialectica Group, serial entrepreneur and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Monash University.

He’s had a lot of entrepreneurial success in medical technologies. He’ mainly focused on the translation of next-generation tech - which is all around creating and leading innovative solutions into new markets. 


He has a background in orthopaedic regenerative medicine and microsurgery, So he is well positioned to strategically drive innovative medical technology solutions that provide a significant impact on society. 


Listen to Buzz to learn more about the MedTech space more broadly, and understand the opportunities and challenges that face companies playing in that arena today.

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© 2020 Talking Healthtech Podcast

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