Medtronic, Samsung partner to develop neuromodulation implant apps for smart devices

Medtronic ($MDT) isn't exactly a consumer brand. But it's hoping that extending a partnership with Samsung will help it integrate its existing, extensive medical device portfolio with ubiquitous consumer smart devices. In June, the pair announced a partnership to do just that in diabetes and now they're expanding that deal into neuromodulation devices.

Under the addition to the deal, Medtronic and Samsung Electronics America will develop digital health solutions for neuromodulation patients including those with chronic pain, movement disorders, incontinence and other conditions.

The idea is to enable doctors and patients to use Android smartphones and tablets to more easily manage therapy, track symptoms and wirelessly monitor data. Neuromodulation devices often come with dedicated controllers and can require a complicated process to download, analyze and share data. The expectation is that the partners will better streamline these processes.

"Samsung is applying its deep understanding of how people use technology to bring new innovations to healthcare," said Dave Rhew, CMO and head of healthcare and fitness for Samsung Electronics America, in a statement. "These future solutions will help better manage the health of patients by providing them with advanced, easy-to-use tools that securely deliver real-time data to their physicians."

The partners said that their initial diabetes collaboration dating back to June is focused on its first project aimed at developing mobile apps that are compatible with Samsung devices that will allow diabetic patients to view their insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring sensor data. In September, Medtronic already revealed a MiniMed app resulting from the partnership.

Neuromodulation brought in $485 million for Medtronic last quarter, an increase in the low single digits over the same quarter a year earlier. It's part of the company's Restorative Therapies business--but it's one of the weaker components with much greater growth coming from Neurovascular and Surgical Technologies. One of the brighter spots within neuromodulation for Medtronic is deep brain stimulation devices, in particular.

"Through this alliance we intend to create efficiencies by developing digital solutions that connect patients and healthcare providers in real time," said Tom Tefft, SVP and president of Medtronic's neuromodulation business, in a statement. "This collaboration is the first step to providing more personalized patient care and arming patients and physicians with the best consumer-relevant technologies."

- here is the announcement

Special Report: So far, just 4 companies have a shot at winning the neuromodulation race

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