Jack Uldrich
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Medtronic Unlearns

Posted in Biotechnology, Health Care

This past week, Stephen Oesterle, an executive at Medtronic gave a sobering keynote speech on the future of medical devices—and, if you’re in the medical device industry, the news wasn’t good. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog, Oesterle was quoted as saying, “When biotechnology gets it right we’re finished. Because it’s restorative, not palliative as device are.” If the message still wasn’t clear to his audience, he then added, “It’s done. [Medical] devices ultimately are done.”

Undoubtedly, Oesterle’s message will get him in “hot water” with more senior executives at Medtronic, but his message is one that needs to be heard—and heeded. The pace of technological change is accelerating and this is especially true in the field of biotechnology. Medical devices executives can either bury their heads in the sand or they can unlearn and embrace this reality and begin looking for new ways to improve people’s lives

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