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On October 18, Omar Ishrak, CEO of Medtronic, made his first visit to Vietnam where he met with key government and healthcare stakeholders, in order to further understand the market and explore partnership opportunities.
The trip is part of the company’s long-term commitment to work with Vietnamese healthcare providers to improve quality of health, patient access, and health delivery across the country.
Medtronic now views Vietnam as one of the most important emerging markets in the Asia Pacific region thanks to its investment attractiveness, economic growth and clear strategy for healthcare improvements.
The firm is making future plans for a country where locals spend around $2-3 billion on healthcare services abroad. In particular, it aims to train and work with local establishments.
“We also intend to launch specific programmes in which we will invest to improve overall healthcare in Vietnam,” Ishrak told VIR. “One such programme is STEMI, which is the method that helps save the lives of people suffering from heart attacks, in the proper manner.”
At present, Medtronic is cooperating with the Vietnam National Heart Institute to pilot the STEMI programme in Nghe An, and to train local doctors there.
The firm now holds a formal partnership with four hospitals and is due to sign a similar partnership agreement with Hue Hospital in the near future.
Medtronic is also exploring the manufacturing sector. At present, it owns a facility in Ho Chi Minh City which produces unique equipment such as camera capsules, which are used to record images of the digestive system.
“We are also exploring products we can make that would tap into the government’s supporting policies, availability of skilled manpower and good trade agreements,” Ishrak added.
Launching in Vietnam in 2012, Medtronic has been contributing to the local community in a mission to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life. The company now offers a broad range of therapies across four areas, from cardiac and vascular solutions, minimally-invasive therapies, restorative therapies, and diabetes care.
Spending over $2 billion on research and development activities annually, Medtronic is well-known for unique products, continuous innovation, and creating brand new markets.
Looking ahead, Medtronic aims to focus on technology that is required to enter the body. “Our business is to use data to cure people, ensuring our data is relevant to all,” Ishrak noted. “The platforms that use robots during surgery are also something we are very interested in.”