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Finding the Sweet Spot: Medtronic’s Growth Strategies for Spinal Cord Stimulation

2/25/17 12:00 PM

Spinal Cord Stim Pic.pngIn an interview with BioMedGPS, Medtronic’s Marshall Stanton, MD discussed the Company’s strategies for gaining back market share in spinal cord stimulation and ongoing efforts to find the sweet spot in treating chronic intractable pain.

Medtronic has long been the global market leader in neurostimulation, launching the first commercial neurostimulator on the market in 1969. Over the last few years, the field has been evolving and Medtonic has been a little slower to innovate than other companies. As a result, the company has been losing share to new competitors entering the market with next generation technologies, particularly in the spinal cord stimulator (SCS) segment.

To find out how Medtronic plans to gain back share and return to strong growth in a field it pioneered, BioMedGPS talked with Marshall Stanton, MD, Senior Vice President and President of the Pain Therapies business unit within Medtronic’s Restorative Therapies Group. Medtronic is investing in new technologies and mechanism of action research in order to find the sweet spot in treating chronic intractable pain, and is on target to launch its next generation SCS, Intellis RC neurostimulator, in mid-to-late 2017.

Marshall Stanton, MD
Senior Vice President and President
Pain Therapies Business, Medtronic


 Interview Questions By Time Code:

00:41 Has the company’s focus on adaptive stim, high density stim, and MRI-safe differentiation helped Medtronic’s competitive position in spinal cord stimulation?

02:42 Medtronic has seen growth slow due to various factors, including increased competition. So what can we expect from Medtronic on the innovation front going forward?

06:19: From what I understand, the EVOLVE workflow is a standardized approach to simplify the SCS procedure. In the past, has this not been a standardized thing. Did physicians sort of just play around until they figured out what worked and what didn’t?

07:26 Are you studying this? What’s next for the EVOLVE workflow?

08:12 Do you have a timeline for the EVOLVE rollout and IDE? When you hope to have that done?

08: 35 EVOLVE sounds like that’s your near-term strategy using your existing technologies. What are your mid-term and long-term strategies for returning to growth?

09:52 Will the Intellis platform be upgradeable, so when you develop new waveforms you can easily add those? Will we see some novel paradigms on it?

11:21 Several companies are trying to get into higher frequency ranges. Can you discuss what the max frequency range will be for Intellis? Will it be capable of broader frequencies?

12:35 Are you considering closed-loop technology? Do you have any novel leads or neural interfaces for closed-loop technology?

13:12 As far as the time range for Intellis, do you anticipate that reaching the US market at the end of 2017?

13:43 It sounds like you’re making quite a bit of R&D investment in this area. Can you discuss how much more you’re investing now in this area?

14:55 You’ve talked about your near-term and mid-term strategies. Can you discuss what your long-term strategies are?

17:37 It sounds like you have a pretty solid plan for returning to growth in the US. Have you publically discussed what sort of growth you anticipate in the next fiscal year?

18:06 Can you give me an idea of what percent of your pain therapies revenues were just spinal cord stim?


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Topics: Neuro Therapies

Anne Staylor
Written by Anne Staylor

Former Senior Editor, Medtech Insight. +25 years in various leadership roles in business intelligence, marketing, communications, product management, and consulting for medical device industry, hospitals, physician groups, insurers. Registered nurse and former Director of Marketing for a national ambulatory surgery company.

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