Medtronic Partners With Samsung To Develop Mobile Health Tools


Medtronic announces that it has expanded its partnership with Samsung to develop more mobile health tools for the chronically ill. Announced at this year’s North American Neuromodulation Society Scientific Session in Las Vegas, the new partnership will focus on developing tools for patients that rely on neuromodulation therapy to treat a wide variety of conditions, including chronic pain, tremors, incontinence, and movement disorders.

Neuromodulation is a medical treatment that involves altering problematic nerve activity with either an implanted device that delivers a small eclectic current, an implanted drug delivery system, or a non-invasive method that relies on magnetic stimulation of the brain. For most patients, neuromodulation involves having a transplant that connects electrodes or drugs directly to the spine or brain. Chronic pain is the most common condition that results in a patient receiving neuromodulation therapy, but Parkinson’s patients; epileptic patients; and patients with incontinence, migraines, spinal cord injuries, and a variety of ischemic conditions also benefit from the treatment.

Medtronic, a medical device manufacturer, develops a line of implantable neuromodulation devices, its third largest business unit. The company manufacturers both neurostimulation devices and implantable drug pumps. Under its new partnership with Samsung, a suite of Android-based apps will be developed that will wirelessly interact with implanted devices so that patients and providers can more easily manage the therapy and track symptoms. Specifically, Medtronic hopes to put an infrastructure in place that will allow providers to receive real-time data feeds from implanted devices.

This project extends an existing research and development relationship between Samsung and Medtronic. In June, the pair announced a similar initiative aimed at developing tools for diabetics using Medtronic’s line of continuous glucose monitors. Announced at the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions, that project will focus on developing apps that will wirelessly interact with implanted glucose monitors and share the information with both the patient and the care team.

Medtronic has been aggressive in its digital health initiatives this year, having two consecutive mobile health app partnerships with Samsung, and a recently announced third partnership with IBM Watson that also focuses on improving diabetes care.

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