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Medtronic Made a Bold Manufacturing Move with Linq II

Image courtesy of Medtronic Medtronic LINQ II Insertable Cardiac Monitor
Julie Brewer, president of Medtronic's cardiovascular diagnostics and services business, talks about the company's decision to use wafer-scale manufacturing instead of traditional methods for the device that won best-in-show in this year's MDEAs.

During the Medtech Design Summit last week, finalists in the Medical Device Excellence Awards (MDEAs) shared many best practices, lessons learned, and challenges that had to be overcome in order to bring their finalist product to market. One interesting takeaway from the event came from Julie Brewer, president of the cardiovascular diagnostics and services business at Medtronic, who talked about the company's Linq II Insertable Cardiac Monitor. The Linq II device ended up winning the best-in-show award during this year's MDEAs.

“With the Linq II technology, we really took a bold move to incorporate a completely new manufacturing process with this technology. In medical devices there’s traditional titanium cans, one-at-a-time production, and we have gone forward with a wafer-scale manufacturing process, which really takes what they do in integrative circuits and applies wafer-scale technology — for the first time that we know of — to medical devices. Really the goal is to automate the manufacturing process, and also to provide a platform that we can more easily add future sensors and capabilities to, as well as fully maximize the space for improved longevity," Brewer said, during the panel discussion, "Designing an Elegantly Simple Medtech Solution."

The wafer-scale manufacturing process It is fairly complicated, she said, but it will enable simplification moving forward, both from a manufacturing perspective as well as from a digital healthcare perspective, as it will allow the company to add future capabilities to the device.

"So again, it's about now imprinting on sapphire glass electrodes, along with the battery antenna, as well as integrated circuits, all on that piece of sapphire glass versus a traditional titanium can," Brewer said. "So we're really excited about this capability that's first of its kind in our industry, and really applying that in a way that will allow us to innovate even more quickly."

Linq II is an insertable cardiac monitor designed to help detect various cardiac arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation, by providing long-term monitoring for patients who experience infrequent symptoms. The Linq II system provides remote programming and two patient monitoring options including the MyCareLink Heart mobile app using BlueSync technology.

To read more about the panel discussion that Brewer participated in, check out: How to Design an Elegantly Simple Medtech Product. You may also be interested in: Most Riveting Takeaways from the Medtech Design Summit 2021.

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