From Pacemakers to AI: Powering the Future of Medical Technology

Rashmi Kumar discusses the company's new global IT center in Hyderabad. This center fosters collaboration and innovation to accelerate the development of cutting-edge medical technologies.

Aanchal Ghatak
New Update

In a conversation with Rashmi Kumar, Senior Vice President and Global Chief Information Officer at Medtronic, we delve into the company's exciting new global IT center in Hyderabad, India. This center signifies a major step forward in Medtronic's digitalization journey, fostering innovation and collaboration to improve healthcare worldwide. She oversees all global IT operations, including infrastructure, data centers, cloud platforms, applications, cybersecurity, and more.


Can you tell us about Medtronic's new IT center in Hyderabad?

Rashmi: As Medtronic undergoes digitalization and integrates technology across its various product lines, there is a need for more investment in talent and technological capabilities. Hyderabad was chosen due to the presence of the Medtronic Engineering and Innovation Center, enabling close collaboration between IT and R&D engineers. Additionally, the talent pool in Hyderabad and the follow-the-sun model for operational excellence were significant factors.

How will the focus areas at the center drive innovation in Medtronic's medical technology?


Rashmi: Our center will support everything from back-office operations to building common technological platforms leveraged by our products for digitalization. This includes creating insight-driven care platforms and enhancing our hyper-automation and AI/ML capabilities. We follow a hub-and-spoke model with our MedtronicGPT platform, a hyper-automation platform used company-wide. Additionally, we will focus on cyber engineering, data engineering, cloud platforms, and DevOps, ensuring robust and innovative solutions.

Can you provide an example of how these new technologies might expedite the development of life-saving treatments?

Rashmi: Take our pacemaker technology, for instance, initially developed 75 years ago, it has now evolved into a connected device that transmits heart function data to both patients and healthcare providers. This is made possible through advanced cloud technologies, data engineering, and AI algorithms that reduce noise from device insights, making them more precise. This collaboration between our product and IT teams showcases how integrated technology can enhance patient care.


Medtronic plans to leverage the 'follow-the-sun' model to attract global talent. Can you elaborate on this model and how it will enhance service quality?

Rashmi Kumar: The follow-the-sun model will be used in two ways:

  • Product Digitalization: While ensuring compliance with local data regulations, the core platforms will be available globally. This allows for faster design and development by following the sun throughout the workday.
  • Operational Excellence: The model will enable the provision of operational excellence around the clock. The center in Hyderabad acts as a major hub outside of the US to provide resources for continuous innovation and ensure solutions are available globally.

Could you elaborate on the Women in IT program at Medtronic?

Rashmi: Medtronic has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. The company supports Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), and the Women in IT ERG is very active in Hyderabad. The program focuses on going beyond just celebrating achievements to include learning, professional growth, and attracting talent to the IT center. Specific examples include a return-to-work program and a hackathon competition.

What impact do you foresee the innovations and advancements from this center will have on the Indian healthcare system and patient care?


Rashmi: As a global company, Medtronic develops solutions for a global audience. However, the company works with its geographic leaders to ensure compliance with local regulations and that its products can serve customers effectively.

As the Global CIO, what excites you most about this new initiative, and what are your personal goals for the center?

Rashmi: The unique aspect of the Hyderabad center is the co-location of Medtronic Engineering and Innovation Center, R&D, and IT. This creates a hidden gem within the Hyderabad ecosystem, where talent can work on cutting-edge medical technologies that improve patient care. The goal is to leverage this unique combination to attract and retain talent who are passionate about Medtronic's mission of saving lives, extending life, and restoring health.


What advice would you give to professionals in the med tech and IT industries who aspire to work with leading companies like Medtronic?

Rashmi: I would advise professionals to consider Medtronic for its mission-driven work that impacts lives. Stay curious, work hard, and continuously learn. The technology field is ever-changing, and those who embrace continuous learning and adaptability will thrive.

Are there any upcoming projects or initiatives that we should keep an eye on?


Rashmi: Medtronic is continuously innovating. Last year alone, we had numerous product approvals. We are at the forefront of medical technologies in areas like imaging, navigation, cardiac care, and diabetes management. Stay tuned for advancements that enhance patient care and improve healthcare accessibility globally. 

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

The focus is on attracting a diverse workforce, particularly women in IT. Medtronic wants to create a work environment that is inclusive and allows all employees to thrive.