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Medtronic CEO on how the company is driving new advances in medical technology

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Geoff Martha, Medtronic CEO, joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the future of medical technology.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Medtronic is a name that has been accelerating its revenue growth-- shares over the past six months up just around 30%. We want to bring in Geoff Martha, he's the CEO of Medtronic. We're also joined by Yahoo Finance's, health care reporter, Anjalee khemlani joining the conversation. Geoff, welcome to the program.

I caught some-- not all of it, I caught some of your presentation at the JP Morgan Health Care Conference earlier this week. The thing that stuck out to me that you were talking about numerous times was their pipeline-- the pipeline that you have coming to fruition. I'm curious just what are some of those big catalysts that you have for the rest of the year for 2021.

GEOFF MARTHA: Sure. Medtronic, we're at an inflection point of our history here-- our 70-year history with the strength of this pipeline. It's never been better. And we have a number of major catalysts here that are really going after significant unmet medical needs, where this current standard care is just not acceptable. So one of the biggest ones that we have our final stage of our pivotal clinical trial reporting out later this year is our hypertension solution. We call it simplicity, which is a minimally invasive procedure that significantly lowers hypertension in patients with persistent hypertension.

And once that procedure is done, it's permanent, and without the side effects that they have today with the drug regimen. And so this is the number one contributor to death in the world. And this is something that's going to be, in the not too distant future, assuming the trial goes right on the market in the US and Europe-- in China rather.

And in addition to that, we have new oblation therapies for irregular heartbeats, like atrial fibrillation. Again, with the aging population, so many people are suffering from AFib. And the current drug regimen is brutal. And here, again, a minimally invasive medical procedure without the side effects-- it just really fixes it. And I could go on and on-- neurodegenerative diseases that we've got new solutions for like Parkinson's, that actually personalize the therapy-- same with pain, back and leg pain, that actually are implanted devices that kind of personalize the therapy and really make a big difference in patients' lives.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Geoff, I know that one of the things that has been such a big buzz word because of the pandemic has been remote monitoring. There's so much attention on virtual care now, both because of CMS and because of the pandemic. So from your standpoint, how much potential does this have for the company?

GEOFF MARTHA: Oh, this is a big one for us, Anjalee. I mean, cardiac rhythm management, so this is pacemakers, implantable defibrillators-- that's where Medtronic was founded on. And it's one of our biggest businesses. And for years, we've been leading with this remote technology.

But quite frankly, the adoption has been slow until nine months ago, when, really, the health care systems around the world picked this up and ran with it. I mean, basically, when patients get a pacemaker, there's a number of points in that process where they need to come in to the hospital to check their device. And it's multiple times a year.

All of this can be done remotely now, and it is less strain on the health care system. And you have less patients coming, less foot traffic into the hospital. I think you're going to see-- it's been a profound change, and I think you're going to see this type of remote technology cutting across more therapeutic areas because of the impact.

ADAM SHAPIRO: How do you go after the pharmaceutical companies in a country where everybody's used to just popping a pill? How do you go after that successfully?

GEOFF MARTHA: That's actually a really good question. One of the things that we need to improve is getting the word out-- is patient awareness. Not just patient or consumer-- we've got to look at them as consumers, but also primary care physicians and even cardiologists. This new hypertension solution, it's almost hard to believe. And patients don't know about this yet.

So we're going to have to introduce this and drive awareness. And so this is something-- Medtronic's going to have to introduce ourselves better, quite frankly, to consumers and drive awareness of these opportunities, like the ones I mentioned-- the simplicity for hypertension, as well as these new ablation procedures, because you're right-- the culture today, and not just among patients but among primary care and even cardiologists, is to prescribe medicines.

And now we've got hard evidence, published in the "New England Journal of Medicine," that there is a better solution. So we've got some work to do here

SEANA SMITH: Geoff Martha, CEO of Medtronic, thanks so much for joining us.