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Medtronic demystifies medical technology for budding engineering brains

6 February 2012

Earlier last week, Matt Condon, professional development manager, shared Medtronic’s story with a packed room of engineering students from South Korea.

As Medtronic’s founder, Earl Bakken, studied electrical engineering himself, it only made sense that the next generation of budding engineers be informed of career opportunities within the medical technology industry. After all, one of these students may develop a device that could change the face of patient care.

The 61-strong group of students were flown to Sydney as part of a joint initiative between Kyungpook National University and the University of Sydney. In addition to exploring career prospects, the annual trip is organised to assist with English language skills development.

The Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) kicked off the morning on campus by giving the students an overview of the industry, specifically an education on what ‘medical devices’ actually are, how these therapies are used to improve patient’s lives, and potential job pathways in the industry.

Matt brought it all home by presenting Medtronic’s history, from its humble beginning as a medical equipment repair shop, to a company which now spans across 120 countries and saves or improves a person’s life every four seconds.

Matt showcased this by playing a video diary of a patient who suffers from Dystonia, a debilitating movement disorder. Following Deep Brain Stimulation – a therapy used to stimulate specific areas of the brain to better control movement – this young patient was able to ride a bike, learn how to drive, and even play golf. Prior to the therapy, this patient’s condition meant he had trouble completing the simplest of tasks, such as walking across a room.

It is these types of stories that remind us why we do what we do and hopefully inspired a room full of students to consider investing themselves in such a worthwhile industry.

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