You may not be familiar with the name Medtronic, but chances are you or someone you know has come into contact with their products. The Minneapolis-based company is one of the world’s leading producers of medical devices, including pacemakers, insulin pumps, and diabetes therapies. The company operates in over 150 countries and had close to $32 billion in revenue in 2022. All of this makes Medtronic’s commitment to using AI for healthcare devices newsworthy, perhaps serving as a bellwether for other connected medical devices. And for that AI, Medtronic has partnered with NVIDIA.

If the name NVIDIA rings a bell, you may recall the company made a name for itself in the PC gaming market with 2D and 3D graphics chips in the 1990s. Today, NVIDIA has found new life driving the AI revolution, with specializations in AI training, speech AI, data analytics, and cybersecurity. In the medical realm, the company has created AI-enabled digital twins that allow researchers and clinicians to simulate organs, cells, and surgeries to improve patient outcomes. And now NVIDIA’s AI will integrate with Medtronic’s FDA-cleared colonoscopy tool that helps physicians detect cancer-related polyps.

Kimberly Powell, NVIDIA’s Vice President of Healthcare, says, “Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool that can increase the speed, efficiency, and effectiveness of global health systems. We’re collaborating with Medtronic…with the goal of improving clinical decision making, reducing medical variability, and driving better patient outcomes.” Medtronic executive Giovanni Di Napoli adds, “We believe that collaborating with AI companies and developers like NVIDIA…is essential to driving innovation within the medical device industry.” 

AI isn’t just making connected medical devices better. In some cases, artificial intelligence outperforms trained medical professionals in real-world tasks. Research published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research points out that, “In many studies, [machine learning] algorithms have outperformed clinicians, for instance, in chest radiograph interpretation, skin cancer diagnosis, and directing optimal treatment strategies for sepsis in intensive care.” 

Looking forward, Medtronic plans to integrate more of its AI-enabled tools with NVIDIA Holoscan, an AI computing software platform, and NVIDIA IGX, an AI hardware platform. Di Napoli adds, “We are committed to working with the best and brightest minds in the field of AI to develop new technologies that can improve patient outcomes and transform the way we approach healthcare.”