With more large consumer tech firms like Apple (NSDQ:AAPL) dabbling in medtech and Google (NSDQ:GOOG) fully entering into the medical device arena, the field is getting more competitive – but Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak isn’t intimidated.
What Medtronic’s CEO sees in Google is less an opportunity for a new competitor, and more a chance for future partnerships.
“They bring a different capability compared to what we bring, whether that will create a competitor or partner is tough to say, and it could be both. If they’re in health care and we’re in health care, we’ll be interacting in some way,” Ishrak told the Boston Business Journal.
Medtronic hasn’t always been quite so confident about the consumer tech giant’s entry into medtech.
In 2014, former Medtronic exec Stephen Oesterle was a little more hesitant about the threat Google posed to the world’s largest pure-play medical device company.
“Our arch-competitor in 20 years will not be Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) or St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) or Covidien (NYSE:COV) or HeartWare (NSDQ:HTWR). It will be Google. I am certain of it,” Oesterle told the audience at MassMEDIC’s annual conference in May, 2014.
But Ishrak sees less threat from Google, who fully entered into the medical device business with Verily, its new Life Sciences’ biz, and the launch of its Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) partnered robotic surgery-focused Verb Surgical in December.
“Health care is a very big space, with efforts all the way from prevention to acute care to clinical trial development to consumer-level awareness. In that broad space, there’s plenty of room for everybody, whether one is a competitor or not is very difficult to say,” Ishrak told the Boston Business Journal.