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Medtronic Begins to Develop a Portable Kidney Dialysis Device in India

Posted Oct 16 2013 12:00am

Medtronic is one of the most successful medical device manufacturers in the world. When it cuts a deal to develop a portable kidney dialysis device in India with one of the most successful hospital chains there, you pay attention (see:  Has This Medical Leader Hit Health Care's Biggest Jackpot? ). Here are the details from a recent article: the world's largest pure medical-device maker, but this stable stock has also impressed investors with amazing growth in 2013. Shares of the company are up more than 34% in 2013. Medtronic's a powerful player in the cardiology market and more, but this company's not just thinking in American sales -- it's thinking globally. How big are we talking? Medtronic this week agreed to an investment with India's Apollo Hospitals Enterprise to develop a portable kidney dialysis device. It's the company's first venture into kidney dialysis, a market traditionally dominated by powers such as Fresenius Medical ...and others. But the real key for Medtronic and its investors is India, an emerging market rivaled by few other developing economies that could provide a new booming market in health care for decades to come.

Here's the take from Bloomberg News about this Medtronic/Apollo venture (see: Medtronic Enters Dialysis With Apollo Venture in India ):

Medtronic is developing a new approach to hemodialysis, which filters toxins from the blood of people with kidneys too damaged to do the job. The companies will work to craft a system by 2016 that functions well in the developing world, with a low-cost, portable approach that doesn’t rely heavily on infrastructure....

I have blogged previously about the Apollo hospital chain (see: Apollo Hospitals Group: An Indian Healthcare Delivery SystemMedical Tourism Aligns with an Offshore Medical School ). I have also discussed five years ago  how developing countries may lead the way in healthcare IT solutions (see:  Developing Countries May Lead the Way in Healthcare IT Solutions ). 

Anyone who knows anything about renal dialysis understands the importance of the infrastructure involved. All you need to do is browse the Fresenius home page to get a sense of the complexity of such an endeavor. I am not sure how you lessen the need for infrastructure but I am sure that Medtronic has an idea about how to do it, particularly in collaboration with one of the best hospital systems in India. Renal dialysis is certainly a growth market on a global scale.
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