Health IT, Devices & Diagnostics

Medtronic finally hears call of Masimo CEO to share data

Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak joins the board of Patient Safety Movement Foundation founded by Masimo CEO Joe Kiani and takes the pledge to share data, something Kiani had wanted for years.


In 2015, Masimo CEO Joe Kiani called for public shaming of firms that don’t share data. It appears that he now has a powerful ally in a company that had rebuffed his advances before.

Last year, at the annual AdvaMed conference in San Diego in October, Kiani, an outspoken advocate and founder of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation, lamented the lack of interoperability and companies’ refusal to share data. He strongly believes that sharing data would reduce the number of preventable deaths in hospitals.

At the time, I was covering the AdvaMed conference as a senior editor for Medical Device And Diagnostic Industry,  and wrote a story about his frustration. The Patient Safety Movement Foundation asks healthcare companies across the board to take the pledge to reduce deaths from medical errors globally and Kiani has been on a mission to get companies to sign the pledge.

Here’s what Kiani said in an interview after his panel discussion:

“For three, four years I have been trying to get them to come in without shaming them but they are still resistant so I think a little bit of shaming will go a long way,” said Kiani.

Who are these companies?

“Epic [Systems] is refusing, Medtronic is refusing, Edwards, CareFusion,” Kiani rattled off. “Unfortunately the list is long of those that are refusing. I have talked to the CEOs. I think they are still stuck in the mindset that somehow I am going to make money off of this data. If I give it away, I have lost my opportunity.”

Well, scratch Medtronic off the list of stubborn no-shows.

The Irish medtech giant announced last week that the company is committing $5 million to the Patient Safety Movement Foundation and taking the pledge to share data. What’s more, CEO Omar Ishrak is joining the foundation’s board of directors.

From Medtronic’s news release:

By signing this Open Data Pledge, Medtronic pledges to allow access to all available acute clinical data generated by their products used in hospitals and in outpatient practice settings to interested parties that want to use them to help minimize preventable patient complications and death. When companies share the data of their products, it provides researchers and entrepreneurs with critical information to develop and accelerate solutions to improve patient care. This information includes predictive algorithms that can notify clinicians and patients of possible dangerous trends – allowing for intervention earlier.

The Patient Safety Movement Foundation has a rather ambitious goal — zero preventable deaths by 2020, and so far 64 healthcare companies, including Cerner, IBM Watson Health and Philips Healthcare, have signed the pledge.

“We are very impressed by the progress the Patient Safety Movement has made in focusing the healthcare industry on eliminating preventable deaths,” Ishrak said in the release. “To get to zero preventable deaths, all parties will have to work together. Our pledge is to work closely with the Patient Safety Movement Foundation and share our data to help eliminate preventable deaths.”

Meanwhile many national healthcare organizations, including hospitals, have made commitments, (instead of pledges that healthcare tech companies make) such as decrease mortality from sepsis for instance, to the foundation.

Kiani must be heartened that Medtronic is taking the pledge and by Ishrak’s support. Judy Falkner, Mike Mussallem, will you be making Kiani’s day too?

Photo Credit:  DrAfter123, Getty Images