VALUE-BASED

Dubai 2020 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Majid Kaddoumi, Vice President & Regional Managing Director of Medtronic, on value-based healthcare, AI, and R&D spending.

What is the significance of value-based healthcare for Medtronic?

Medtronic is one of the first companies to explore value-based healthcare, taking it further into collaborating with academic entities around the globe to structure it and bring it into a process thought leadership. This resulted in enabling HC system to turn into an outcome- or value-based healthcare system. The main change if a patient goes to a value-based healthcare center is that fee will be connected in many ways to the outcome, and the better the outcome, the higher the fee can be. Value-based healthcare also shifts focus to utilizing innovation to align value across the entire patient-care continuum. Thus, aspects like patient flow, recovery times, and even inventory management will become more efficient and better outcomes can be delivered without increasing infrastructures' overall costs. In this way, we can enhance global patient-care by increasing accessibility and economic value in emerging markets where resources are already scarce.

How can Medtronic help raise the healthcare standards in Dubai and the UAE and make it more accessible?

Medtronic is working and collaborating in different ways to transform healthcare systems. The Netherlands Obesity Clinic launched Dubai and Abu Dhabi for its first expansion outside of the Netherlands. It opened two clinics, and we are starting to see patients go through our systems. We have been exploring areas such as expanding remote support to cardiac patients and have done pilots as well. We have also been successful in building up relationships that provide physicians with training, to contribute to the outcome-based learning and take a step forward in addressing the issue of physician scarcity in the UAE. We are proud to serve close to 3 million patients around the region every year. There is still more to serve, as the Middle East and Africa region has about 1.5 billion people, and many are underserved. In many countries in Africa, patients still cannot access affordable healthcare due to the limited infrastructure or healthcare professional s. Dubai has made it easier for us to access these markets and through collaborations with capital funds organizations, we are able to support to enhance access.

How fast is the use of AI being deployed in your world, and what are the more recent implementations worth celebrating?

The shift from pay-for-service models to outcomes-based models intersects directly with advances in technology, like AI. Data and measured outcomes will help drive value and accountability across the system. AI can be deployed in a way that enables technologies to be remotely administered, help physicians that are new to the therapy develop the knowledge, or allow us to deliver a better outcome to patients. One of our achievements in this area is the AI-powered Sugar.IQ diabetes assistant which empower patients to control their blood glucose levels more effectively. There's no doubt that data analytics will continue to increase and evolve over time. But today, the biggest opportunity we have is to give physicians both clinical and behavioral data to work with. The combination of those two will help providers make informed decisions and more effectively treat patients.

How would you assess the R&D spending and ventures across the region?

We have had discussions with some of the large governments around the region about specific programs that would result in products that respond to the specific needs of the population of that country. Our region, however, is still working on finding the regulatory and funding framework and determining the role of the academic institute and government. We have many parts that would strengthen the local R&D function in the region, and the country that can bring it all together first will likely be able to benefit from R&D function faster. There are many commonalities in what we do; we can use platforms from one therapy for another and so on.

What was the reasoning behind your recent acquisitions of Mazor Robotics and Abraaj Group Healthcare?

Our strategy has three main components: quality, accessibility, and cost. The first involves innovation to improve quality and outcomes, the second involves globalization to increase access, and the final one involves economic value. Mazor and Abraaj fit in perfectly with these three strategic pillars because Mazor is an innovative product that makes it easier for physicians to utilize the surgery space, makes the surgery faster, and allows for better recovery. Abraaj was more about addressing accessibility, especially in terms of all of the investments Abraaj has made. It is now called Evercare in Pakistan, India, and Africa, areas where infrastructure has yet to be built and accessibility is still an issue.

Can you elaborate on your partnership with the UN on non-communicable diseases (NCDs)?

In underserved communities, NCDs are on the rise, and those affected often face major barriers to care. We have developed community-based care systems around the world to strengthen these care systems and help populations take control of their health. We are engaging in partnerships across sector to accelerate responses to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), universal health coverage (UHC), and health worker shortages worldwide. As a collaborator in this response, we believe that progress can be leveraged when we listen to our partners and distill key lessons from their views and the results achieved.