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As the world’s largest provider of medical devices, Medtronic ensures the health of 7 million patients every day. That’s one patient every four seconds, and to meet this high demand—and save lives—Medtronic relies on innovative solutions and reliable software, like SAP HANA.

Medtronic is an innovator in the healthcare field.  Its HeartRescue Program improves the odds for sudden cardiac arrest victims by teaching signs, symptoms and emergency response techniques.  It also provides essential cardiac equipment.  Every year, almost 300,000 Americans are struck by sudden cardiac arrest-which occurs when the heart stops and fails to pump blood to vital organs in the body. Only 8 percent survive nationally and there has been little improvement in survival rates.  

Medtronic’s HeartRescue Project has partnered with Duke University, The University of Pennsylvania, and AMR, the nation's leading manager and provider of medical transportation.  Together they have improved out-of-hospital SCA survival rates, with even greater improvements predicted.  The Medtronic HeartRescue program is also strengthening systems of care and increasing community awareness about a major healthcare issue.

But HeartRescue is just a small part of Medtronic’s portfolio.  The company develops and manufactures devices and therapies to treat more than 30 chronic diseases- including heart failure, Parkinson's disease, urinary incontinence, obesity, chronic pain, spinal disorder- and diabetes.  As a leader an essential industry, Medtronic needs to run at its best, but they have faced challenges their massive databases. 

With more than 7 million global customers, Medtronic receives a huge amount of customer feedback.  For a long time employees could not generate certain types of reports (particularly using unstructured data), resulting in a limited ability to draw conclusions from existing customer data.  They needed to better analyze large amounts of data to produce and distribute the life-saving equipment at the fastest rate—and SAP HANA provided a solution.

An Early Launch of HANA

SAP HANA was selected for two of Medtronic’s most important business components: Global Complaint Handing and Global Sales Reporting. An early adopter of SAP HANA, Medtronic was impressed by the high performing, flexible platform that enabled data analysis at the most granular level. HANA met key requirements and overcame challenges that the existing Oracle platform could not address.

Data response times with the SAP HANA platform are roughly one-third the speed of previous systems, which allowed Medtronic to improve its efficiency and effectiveness.  HANA’s in-memory technology has helped boost sales and garner a higher understanding of patient satisfaction.

Using SAP HANA- Medtronic can respond with greater agility to its business data, resulting in greater sales and higher-quality products.  “Application users at 4 The Power of Instant Customer Insight Medtronic [Medtronic’s customer feedback system] have very high performance and quality expectations, and we are focused on trying to achieve a single source of truth solution for reporting,” said Steve Teichman, IT director for business intelligence at Medtronic.

Going Forward With SAP

Since adopting SAP software in 2003, Medtronic has grown substantially.  Now Medtronic is working with SAP to develop an application for text-based analytics to better leverage the wealth of unstructured data on which the global complaint-handling system relies, such as free-text fields where a lot of notes are taken.  Having access to even more data will likely enable this business leader to continue to provide life-saving equipment and therapy.

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