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National Stroke Week – The power of awareness

13 September 2018

The blog is contributed by Timothy Holwell, Therapy Development Manager, Neurovascular, ANZ and John Gillespie, Principal Health Economics & Reimbursement Analyst. Tim is the Chairperson and John is a member of the Medtronic ANZ Stroke Taskforce.

We are very proud to actively support this year’s National Stroke Week (3-9 September). Last week, we set up a Stroke Awareness Table in every Medtronic Hub across Australia. For everyone who visited the Awareness Table, we provided information on stroke management and helped them check blood pressure.

Photo: Staff visiting our Stroke Station in the office

Each year 56,000 people[i] in Australia suffer a stroke and it is one of our nation’s biggest killers and leading causes of disability. It’s estimated that more than 80% of strokes can be prevented simply by managing risk factors and living a healthy lifestyle[ii]. To support the Stroke National Week, we encourage everyone to discover how easy it is to fit healthy habits into their day to reduce their stroke risk.

The power of awareness – Charlie’s story

Charlie, our Sydney HQ café manager shared his story about the importance of raising awareness and acting on the information received. A couple of years ago during National Stroke Week, Charlie had his blood pressure measured at the Awareness Table set up in our Sydney HQ and found his blood pressure was a bit high, so he saw his doctor and learnt that he has atrial fibrillation (AF) –  an irregular, rapid heart rate and a risk factor for stroke. Charlie is now aware and managing his condition. This is exactly what Stroke Week and our Stroke Awareness Table are all about – prompting action to prevent stroke. It is also a great illustration of what a simple table with a few bits of information can do – keep someone healthy!


Photo: Charlie, café manager

A special note of thanks to Charlie for sharing his story with us, and our community.

Visit to learn more about stroke. Recognise the signs of stroke:


[i] Deloitte Access Economics. No postcode untouched – Stroke in Australia 2017
[ii] O’Donnell et al. “Global and regional effects of potentially modifiable risk factors associated with acute stroke in 32 countries (INTERSTROKE): a case-control study”, Lancet 2016; 388: 761–75. Published Online July 15, 2016,




12 September 2018

Hayden Young, Medtronic ANZ Diabetes Project Coordinator

Attending Blackmores Bridge Run| Insulin for Life Team on 16 September


Tenure with Medtronic: 2.5 years

What motivates you to work in the ANZ medtech industry?

I think my story is similar to many working in the medtech industry. We have seen someone we love impacted by lifesaving medical devices and wanted to be a part of making a difference in other people’s lives.

Why are you attending the Running Event?

Insulin for Life is a charity that I am passionate about. Here in Australia, we are so lucky to have much of our healthcare provided under some form of cover or rebate. Unfortunately, those living in some other countries are not so fortunate. Insulin for Life takes unused insulin and other diabetes supplies, and ships them to developing countries. They are then distributed, free of charge to those who require them. Through Insulin for Life, these supplies that would have once gone to waste are instead used to save thousands of lives. I think that’s a cause to get behind!

Just $250 is enough to ship three months of insulin to a hospital that desperately needs it.

What are you looking forward to most in the Running Event?

Getting together with a group of people who are working toward the same goal. It’s good to be able to help raise funds for a charity, but great to do it with others.

By this time next year, what matter relating to healthcare would you like to see solved and/or part of public conversation?

There is an urgent and growing need to promote the issues surrounding diabetes, a now out of control pandemic. This involves an increased understanding and a discussion on the economic, and societal seriousness of diabetes and its complications, and of the escalating costs to individuals, families, workplaces, society and governments. Improvements can be made by introducing sustainable, nationally consistent programs to prevent, detect and manage diabetes in Australia. As of now, there have been many plans and strategies designed but not properly implemented or evaluated.

Kids in the House: Research holds the key

5 September 2018

As part of our commitment to support the local community in improving diabetes management, we were very proud to be Major Sponsors of this year’s Kids in the House, an event hosted by JDRF, the leading global organisation funding Type 1 diabetes research.

On Thursday 23 August, over 100 young advocates from across the Nation living with Type 1 diabetes visited Canberra to meet with their MP. They shared their story of life with Type 1 diabetes, explained why research holds the key, and made a personal plea for continued Government funding for type 1 diabetes clinical research.

Diabetes occurs when the body stops producing insulin altogether, because the insulin producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed or don’t work. This usually happens when the body’s own immune system attacks and destroys the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. People with Type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections, or use an insulin pump to survive. Type 1 diabetes is usually first diagnosed in children and young adults, although it may be diagnosed into adulthood.


Emma (16) shows Senator Deb O’Neill from NSW how insulin pump therapy is improving management of her diabetes.


A key message from JDRF is that without continued funding,  Australians with Type 1 diabetes will miss out on first-class treatments and therapies; and, leading researchers may need to go overseas to continue their research. Therefore, as part of the advocacy program, they are asking both sides of politics to support $50M over the next five years to continue the work of the JDRF’s Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network (CRN).


Medtronic Diabetes team also accompanied Kids in the House in Canberra on 23 August 2018.


JDRF believes that $50M over five years will see more research, more trials, more translation, and then more progress, into type 1 diabetes.

The CRN funds trials of new diabetes technologies including the recently approved MiniMed 670G insulin pump. These trials are run by some of the most talented Endocrinologists and researchers we have in Australia and are critical for us to build belief in the path to the Closed Loop.

We are very proud to be a supporter of many community, patient support and medical research organisations like JDRF and will continue to promote patient choice and access to the latest advances in diabetes management technology.


28 August 2018

Doug Symonds, Medtronic Australasia | Healthcare Economics & Reimbursement | PHI Relations

Presenting at the Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society (ADIPS) 2018 annual scientific meeting

ADIPS - RFphoto-02

The Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society (ADIPS) held their annual scientific meeting over the weekend in Adelaide.

It was very excited to be at this meeting to present our cost analysis on the impact of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) on perinatal costs and outcomes in pregnant women with type 1 diabetes.

This analysis looks at how the clinical outcomes reported in the CONCEPTT trial (Feig 2017) translate into health economic outcomes for the Australian healthcare system – and was conducted to inform decisions about expanding funding for CGM.

We hope the presentation generates lots of discussion and, most importantly, action to expand subsidised access to CGM to include the high-risk population of pregnant women with type 1 diabetes.

Link to ADIPS program –

Link to oral presentation abstract –



24 August 2018

Diane Collington, Medtronic Australasia | Market Development Specialist

Attending Parkinson’s NSW Walk in the Park 2018


Tenure with Medtronic: 12 months

What motivates you to work in the ANZ medtech industry? Through Medtronic we have the ability to impact a patient’s quality of life significantly, through education and  innovative technology. That technology not only benefits the patient outcomes but  assists in the cost effectiveness of  healthcare in ANZ.  

Why are you attending the Event? This event is run around Australia and on the 26th August 2018 is being held concurrently in NSW and Victoria this year.  Parkinson’s impacts the lives and families of over 80,000 people in Australia,  with the majority of these in NSW and Victoria. We work closely with the Parkinson’s associations around ANZ, through local patient events and clinician meetings on treatment options available to patients. Personally I have family and friends who have Parkinson’s Disease and this is my way of showing support for them in a fun way.

What are you looking forward to most in the Event? I am pleased the DBS team in RTG is to be joined by the Finance team from Sydney as a special team activity  and we would like to thank them for giving up a Sunday morning by exercising and supporting an excellent cause. I hope they have fun,  get to enjoy the lovely park at St Peters and meet some interesting people on their walk whether it’s the 2km or 4km length.

By this time next year, what matter relating to healthcare would you like to see solved and/or part of public conversation? I would like to see improved access for patients around Australia within the public sector in both surgery and post-operative care. This will assist the 46% of Australian’s who do not hold private health insurance and have to go onto a wait list or forgo the choice of treatments available to others. I would also like to see greater education of therapy options and optimal timing  for General Practitioners who are often the first line of contact for patients.   




20 March 2018

Doug Symonds, Medtronic Australasia | Healthcare Economics & Reimbursement | PHI Relations

Attending the Australian Private Hospitals Association (APHA) Congress 2018

Medtronic Macquarie-000598

Tenure with Medtronic: 9 ½ years

What motivates you to work in the ANZ medtech industry? Working collaboratively to ensure Australians have access to new, innovative technology that will make to a difference to their life.

Why are you attending the Meeting? An opportunity to discuss policy issues and practical steps to improve patient access to medical technology and improve the value of PHI.

What are you looking forward to most at the Meeting? Hearing speakers present their thoughts on how to put the patient at the centre of care.

Which area of the program interests you most? The discussion on low value vs high value care.

By this time next year, what matter relating to healthcare would you like to see solved and/or part of public conversation? Further discussion on value based healthcare – putting the patient at the centre of care – does offer the best pathway for the healthcare community to improve patient outcomes, while focusing on the sustainability of healthcare into the future.


20 March 2018

Cath Moore, Medtronic Australasia | Business Development & Corporate Accounts Manager

Attending the Australian Private Hospitals Association (APHA) Congress 2018

Cath Moore

Tenure with Medtronic: 4 months

What motivates you to work in the ANZ medtech industry? To support improved delivery of healthcare for those who need it most.

Why are you attending the Meeting? To represent Medtronic’s Integrated Health Solutions Division.

What are you looking forward to most at the Meeting? Meeting and talking with our customers about the benefits of integrated solutions and our shared risk approach to delivering value to healthcare providers and their patients.

Which area of the program interests you most? I’m interested to hear about developments at the Australian Digital Health Agency from Tim Kelsey.

By this time next year, what matter relating to healthcare would you like to see solved and/or part of public conversation? I’d like all healthcare settings to consider the benefits of a ‘Value Based Healthcare’ approach for their patients and managers.