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MedTech POV Podcast with Scott Whitaker | Abbott’s Lisa Earnhardt Discusses How Technology and Innovation are Making it Easier and More Affordable to Manage Diabetes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lisa Earnhardt, Executive Vice President, Medical Devices, at Abbott joined AdvaMed’s Scott Whitaker on the Medtech POV podcast to discuss how innovation and technology are helping patients manage diabetes, allowing them to live fuller and better lives. It is an issue that is particularly important to Whitaker, who is the parent of a child with type 1 diabetes.

During the conversation, Earnhardt laid out the stakes of dealing with diabetes on a global level, saying “there’s no question that diabetes is one of the most pressing healthcare issues of our time. In fact, we probably would have been talking a lot more about it the last two years if we weren’t talking about COVID, in terms of the almost pandemic level impact of the disease, with over 400 million people around the globe suffering from diabetes.”

Earnhardt further shared the many ways Abbott is using technology and innovation to help people manage diabetes and other conditions in ways they couldn’t before, telling Whitaker, “I’m just proud that we’re able to make a difference, whether it be in diabetes or what we’ve done with rapid testing for COVID. There’s a lot of areas where we’ve focused squarely on getting the technology to where and when it’s needed.”

She explained that, for a long time, the only way for people with diabetes to test glucose levels was pricking their finger several times a day. Thanks to years of research by the medtech industry, as well as partnerships with groups such as the American Diabetes Association, numerous technological advances are making it easier to live with and manage the disease. Today, people with diabetes can wear a small device that constantly monitors glucose levels and alerts them when they get too high or too low.

Scott, whose daughter has had diabetes for 10 years, applauded Earnhardt and Abbott for their tireless work in ensuring their technology can be broadly accessible and affordable, around the globe, as well as their partnership with the American Diabetes Association’s Health Equity Now initiative which seeks to address health disparities for people with diabetes.

Working on research and development of technology to help treat and manage medical conditions is nothing new to Earnhardt. Prior to joining Abbott, she successfully ran a medical device startup. That experience gave her a different perspective on leadership and success that she carries with her today.

During the conversation, Earnhardt shared some of the most important lessons she learned from that time. Among them, was the value of building the right team, or as she put it, “the importance of people.” Earnhardt went on to explain how “one member of the team and their capabilities can make a huge difference. Making sure you’re surrounding yourself with the team that will not only help serve your needs of today, but ultimately, take you to where you want to go.”

To listen to the full conversation, including how Abbott accelerated innovation to meet the needs of the coronavirus pandemic, download the MedTech POV podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever podcast streaming is available. Visit AdvaMed’s website for more information on the podcast and past guests.

The MedTech POV podcast is hosted by Scott Whitaker, President and CEO of AdvaMed, the world’s largest medical technology association. It premiered in April 2021 and has featured medtech and health care policy leaders such as Dr. Steven Hahn and General James Mattis. In each episode, guests and host Scott Whitaker cover the intersection of medtech and policy from every perspective, including current issues in business, policy and current events.

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AdvaMed member companies produce the medical devices, diagnostic products and digital health technologies that are transforming health care through earlier disease detection, less invasive procedures and more effective treatments. AdvaMed members range from the largest to the smallest medical technology innovators and companies. For more information, visit www.advamed.org.