Medtech POV Blog

Paths to the Top: Sheri Dodd, Medtronic

Sherri Dodd portrait

Sherri Dodd has spent 30 years working to improve patient outcomes across the pharmaceutical, medical technology, and public health sectors. Right now, she’s the Vice President and General Manager for the Medtronic Care Management Services business. She recently spoke with Tracy MacNeal, President and CEO of Materna Medical and national Chair for AdvaMed’s Women’s Executive Network (WEN) about how medtech innovation is helping people manage chronic illness – and why that mission is so important – and personal – to her.

Can you help our readers understand what care management means, and how it’s different from other models of healthcare delivery?

When Medtronic purchased a remote patient monitoring company called Cardiocom in 2013, the telehealth market was underdeveloped and the expansive role of technology in monitoring patients in their homes was in its infancy. In 2015, we changed our business name to Medtronic Care Management Services to more clearly articulate the broader market that our technology and services could serve.

In our application, care management is a patient-centered approach that brings people, processes, and technologies together. Care management is designed to assist patients and their care teams to ultimately manage medical conditions more effectively. One critical component of care management is care coordination, which organizes and operationalizes care pathways and care team communications to facilitate timely and effective healthcare delivery. Care management is a higher-touch patient engagement model and tends to focus on patients at high risk for hospitalizations and ER visits due to chronic, comorbid conditions. Our Medtronic Care Management Services business supports patients with both chronic diseases and post-surgical monitoring needs, and uses technology to engage with patients, stratify for risk, and guide clinical decision support based on care pathways, care management, and care coordination principles.

How can medtech companies – and even individual people at medtech companies – begin to shift their own business strategies to focus on care management?

Many companies talk about putting patients at the center of what they do, but they don’t design their technology in a patient-centered way. I believe the best way to have a material impact on patient and healthcare system outcomes is to understand and solve for friction points that contribute to access, care variation, and patient engagement. In every step of the patient journey – access, referral, diagnosis, treatment, care transition, and ongoing management – there are opportunities to improve the care delivery process.

The other consideration for shifting business strategy is the demand for value. Value-based healthcare is gaining momentum – and while it’s not a new construct, it’s not going away. All stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem have a perspective of what “value” means to them and their patients, and the risk shift from payers to providers creates opportunities to differentiate technology and services.

How is care management evolving alongside the COVID-19 pandemic, and how has Medtronic responded?

COVID-19 accentuated and accelerated the role technology can play in care management, patient and clinical engagement, and data analytics and reporting. Our Medtronic Care Management Services business was in a perfect position to serve the explosive demand for COVID-19 symptom monitoring technologies, and we also innovated to provide supplemental monitoring of COVID-19 symptoms for at-risk patients who were already in our remote patient monitoring program for their chronic conditions.

For Medtronic, one area of continued focus will be in the development and commercialization of data-enabled therapies that provide the predictive and real-time insights that can positively impact clinical outcomes. Technology is our core and we have the portfolio breadth, care pathway experience, clinical evidence, wafer-scale manufacturing, and provider relationships to shape and lead in this “new” world.

The future of technology in care management will expand to include risk stratification, interoperability, clinical decision support engines, and clinician and provider engagement applications. It’s an extremely exhilarating area of virtual care where I am excited to make an impact.

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