ON THE COMPANY
Medtronic is a global healthcare solutions company committed to improving the lives of people through our medical technologies, services, and solutions. We have many connections to Toronto and the GTA. Many of our employees live here. Our Canadian head office is here. And two of our most successful medical devices have their roots here—pacemakers and insulin pumps. Most people know that insulin was discovered in Toronto by Frederick Banting and Charles Best. Less known is the pacemaker’s origins in Toronto. The Toronto Group developed one of the first AC-powered pacemakers, which inspired Medtronic’s founder, Earl Bakken, to create the first wearable, battery-powered cardiac pacemaker. He then looked at other areas where electrical stimulation might be beneficial. This led to the application of neurostimulation for indications such as movement disorders, chronic neuropathic pain, and incontinence. To this day, we continue to benefit from the research being conducted in the areas of endocrinology, cardiology, and neuroscience, with world renowned clinical researchers based in Toronto focusing in these areas.
We have numerous collaborations rooted in Toronto and strive to enable quality outcomes, while controlling costs to the healthcare system. In 2014, Neil Fraser was honoured to be invited to participate on the Ontario Health Innovation Council to assist in the development of recommendations to improve the adoption of healthcare innovations in Ontario —all of which were accepted by the Minister of Health and Long-term Care. We also collaborate with MaRS EXCITE, Toronto Regional Board of Trade, Health Technology Exchange, MEDEC, research institutions, and many others.
We have 35 ongoing clinical trials with at least one site in Canada, many of which have a site in Toronto. Medtronic Canada is particularly proud to have been the executive sponsor of one of the most important cardiology device trials ever conducted in Canada: RAFT (Resynchronization/Defibrillation for Ambulatory Heart Failure Trial). With numerous principal investigators based in Toronto, the trial recruited 1,798 patients, 90% from Canada, and has resulted in new guidelines worldwide for Heart Failure.
ON WHY TORONTO MATTERS
AToronto offers an incredibly diverse talent pool with a particularly strong track record for research. The University of Toronto, for example, consistently ranks as the top university in Canada and among the top 25 in the world according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities. In the medical-doctoral category, the University of Toronto is consistently ranked as the top university in Canada by Maclean’s magazine.
In addition to outstanding talent, Canada is renowned for its robust, credible research. Toronto offers a large patient population concentrated in big academic centres on University Avenue, world renowned researchers, and a centralized location close to a major international airport.
ON THE FUTURE
Medtronic envisions a coordinated effort to have innovation adoption prioritized at all levels of government, with funding models that support the role innovation plays in the shift to outcomes-based healthcare. In addition to Toronto’s efforts to create an attractive environment for small and medium sized enterprises, we encourage the region to focus beyond research and product development, to include commercialization and adoption of the innovations created here.
In addition to his role as President of Medtronic Canada, Neil is President-Elect of MEDEC and Board Member of Baycrest Health Sciences. He was a member of the federal Advisory Panel for Healthcare Innovation and the Ontario Health Innovation Council, and is a frequent speaker on the topics of procurement, value-based healthcare, and the role of the medical device sector in transforming healthcare in Canada.
MEDTRONIC QUICK FACTS
There are 84 PATENTS held by Medtronic in Canada where at least one inventor is from Canada
In 2014, there were 35 MEDTRONIC-SPONSORED CLINICAL TRIALS ongoing with at least 1 Canadian Participating Site
Medtronic employs over 1,500 PEOPLE IN CANADA and 85,000 around the world
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