Medtronic: The Beat Goes On
Having built one of the strongest medical device franchises in its pacemaker and implantable defibrillator businesses, Medtronic is leveraging its expertise in cardiac rhythm management to tackle two related cardiac problems of similarly enormous potential.
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The ICD market in cardiac rhythm management has been one of the medical device industry's fastest growing markets over the past several years. Yet for all its success, only about 20% of the patients who could benefit from an ICD get one. Why is that? Officials from Cameron Health argue that the complexity of current devices frustrate many cardiologists and force them to hand patients over to electrophysiologists, a move that they often resist. Now, Cameron hopes to blow open the untapped portion of the market with a device that is simpler to use, one that cardiologists will feel comfortable implanting.
At a time when the US industry is undergoing perhaps its most serious crisis of leadership and confidence, it was appropriate that Bill George, former chairman and CEO of Medtronic was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award at this year's Phoenix Medical Device and Diagnostic conference for CEOs, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Versant Ventures, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Windhover Information. Honoring Bill George at this particular time is propitious because George has spent his career promoting the importance of individual values and responsibility in corporate leadership, and has just published "Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value," a book that defines the qualities he considers essential attributes for corporate leaders to successfully manage companies built to deliver long-term value.
Siemens Healthineers' acquisition of radiation oncology company Varian Medical Systems creates an oncology giant. Analysts disagree on whether its the right move for the companies.