Entering the 'Golden Age' of Technology

Co-led by Medtronic Chairman and CEO Geoff Martha, a B20 task force begins global healthcare policy work ahead of a summit of world leaders in Italy
May 19, 2021 2:15 PM ET
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An international task force co-led by Medtronic Chairman and CEO Geoff Martha recently convened a virtual dialogue between government and business leaders to discuss healthcare policy in advance of the G20 summit in October.

The Business 20 (B20) is the official G20 dialogue forum with the global business community. The B20 Health and Life Sciences Task Force is charged with delivering concrete, actionable policy recommendations to the G20 Presidency (hosted by Italy in 2021), and fostering dialogue between the public and private sector at the G20 level. It’s a true act of global cooperation, with nearly 100 delegates representing leading multinational corporations. 

As the world’s largest medical device company, Medtronic plays a prominent role in advancing global policy dialogue on healthcare issues. And Martha, who helps co-chair the B20 Health and Life Sciences Task Force, is guiding many of the important healthcare policy conversations among B20 and G20 members.

“We recognize the growing pressure for G20 members to address outcomes and access more than ever before while reducing the overall cost of care,” Martha said. “While these three goals may seem diametrically opposed, I truly believe all three can be accomplished by unleashing the power of technology and innovation.”

Molding advocacy into action

At the recent B20-G20 virtual event, participants discussed how technology will have an outsized role in the future of healthcare and will require policy frameworks that foster innovation and support access to data.

“We’re entering a golden age of technology,” Martha said. “Data is critical to moving us forward—not only to building new innovations but tracking outcomes that will advance value-based healthcare; thereby improving patient outcomes in relation to cost.”

Government and business leaders told task force members they recognized the urgent need for technology that can improve access to healthcare in communities around the world.

“Research, big data, and artificial Intelligence are essential elements for a health system that guarantees universal access to healthcare,” said Budi Gunadi Sadikin, health minister of Indonesia, which will host the G20 in 2022.

Not only can innovative technology help democratize healthcare, it can boost global economies by improving patient outcomes, Martha said.

“I know that sometimes when the industry says ‘innovation,’ health officials think ‘expensive technology,” Martha said. “I think it’s important to bridge these perspectives. Investing in innovation can have a profound impact on health outcomes, as well as providing economic benefits for your countries, making healthcare an economic driver rather than a cost burden.”

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