Medtronic announced the groundbreaking of its Chengdu Innovation Center at the Singapore-Sichuan Hi-Tech Innovation Park in Sichuan Province on Oct 10. Set to open in 2020, this center will provide a leading, cross-disciplinary clinical training and research platform for medical workers in Sichuan and other central and western regions. Liu Liedong, vice mayor of Chengdu, Omar Ishrak, chairman and CEO of Medtronic, and Chris Lee, president of Medtronic Greater China, attended the groundbreaking ceremony alongside a host of honored guests.
"Medtronic understands the critical role that rural physicians play in driving the healthcare availability and transformation," said Omar Ishrak. "As such, we hope to support the growth and development of medical workers in China’s vast central and western regions, help them better understand, grasp and capitalize the frontier technologies, enhance their clinical skills to benefit more patients, and move forward together toward the Healthy China goal."
Despite increased investment in clinical training for China’s healthcare professionals, clinical training for Chinese physicians, in particular those in the country’s western regions, remains insufficient. The lack of effective training has led to an average 10-year gap between the maturation period of Chinese physicians and those in developed countries. Furthermore, data from the "China Health and Family Planning Statistical Yearbook 2016" shows that the number of on-the-job medical training organizations in China’s western regions totaled only 89 in 2015, or half that of the country’s eastern regions. The availability of clinical training has become a major challenge for China in cultivating professional and skilled medical workers.
To facilitate the development of medical workers, Medtronic aims to build the Chengdu Innovation Center into one of the most advanced "one-stop" clinical training facilities in Central and Western China at this moment. Leveraging Medtronic’s global-leading innovations and clinical expertise, this center will provide world-class training programs across diverse disciplines, including surgery, minimally invasive surgery, intensive care, internal medicine and anesthetics, as well as disease areas such as cardiovascular, tumors, respiratory, nervous system, gastrointestinal, and renal diseases. The center will also be equipped with cutting-edge simulation systems and equipment, helping to improve clinical skills and increase learning efficiency of medical workers through a highly-simulated training environment and tiered training curriculums.
Within five years of operation, Medtronic projects an annual training capacity of approximately 7,000 healthcare professionals at the Chengdu center. Before Chengdu, Medtronic’s Shanghai Innovation Center has been operating for more than 10 years. Building upon this experience, the Chengdu center will help to promote more extensive exchange and collaborative innovation among healthcare professionals, medical service institutions and research organizations by joining forces with Medtronic’s global Innovation Center network in Shanghai as well as Japan, Korea, India, Turkey, and Brazil.
"Chengdu is actively fostering innovation within the biopharmaceutical industry, and it’s particularly important to build an open and pragmatic innovation environment," said Liu Liedong. "We hope that more international leading platforms, like the Medtronic Innovation Center, can inspire innovation and become a driving force in helping us explore local needs. In turn, we can facilitate stronger connections and collaborations between academia, research institutes, corporations, and the biopharma industry, and enable clinical applications that help convert technology into more valuable medical services."
Medtronic has been dedicated to promoting and advancing local healthcare access, quality and innovation. With this dedication in heart, Medtronic has collaborated with the Chengdu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone on multiple investment projects in recent years. Following the local hemodialysis and insulin pump projects, the new Medtronic Innovation Center in Chengdu will help to further improve local medical industry capabilities boasting a stronger portfolio from research and development to manufacturing innovative products to clinical trainings and exchanges.
"The China market presents one of the greatest opportunities for Medtronic," said Chris Lee. "We are ready and eager to continue working with partners in China to explore and solve the country’s healthcare challenges. With the new Medtronic Innovation Center in Chengdu, we will have more resources to mobilize local medical workers to participate in key healthcare initiatives, and eventually strengthen and advance the vital healthcare industry through collective insights, expertise, and skills."
Medtronic, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is among the world’s largest medical technology, services and solutions companies. Medtronic employs more than 84,000 people worldwide, serving physicians, hospitals and patients in approximately 160 countries.