Medtronic Expands Presence In Asia Pacific Region With New Singapore HQ
Medtronic widened its global operations on Tuesday, specifically in the Asia Pacific region, as it opened its new Singapore headquarters.
The med-tech company from Fridley currently has 80 locations in the Asia Pacific area. Its office in Singapore, however, will serve as the central hub for its future medical device and service developments in the region.
Medtronic spokeswoman Pamela Reese pointed to a handful of strengths that led the company to centralize in Singapore—most notably its developed infrastructure, political stability, connectivity, and skilled workforce. Upwards of 300 employees from Singapore and nearby countries will work at the new office.
As part of the grand opening, Medtronic announced a strategic partnership with SingHealth, the largest healthcare group in Singapore.
“Within the next two years, both parties will collaborate to develop a Center of Excellence for intensive insulin therapy for the treatment of diabetes in Southeast Asia,” Reese told TCB.
Singapore is actively facing a diabetes pandemic. The country currently has the second-highest proportion of diabetics among developed nations (about 10.5 percent of the population), which is only a fraction behind the United States (10.75 percent).
“Singapore Health Minister Gan Kim Yong recently declared a ‘war on diabetes,’ describing it as one of the biggest drains on the healthcare system,” Reese said. “Currently, this disease is costing Singapore more than $1 billion annually.”
Globally, diabetes care is a $240 billion market. That figure is set to grow dramatically, though, as the number of people living with the disease is expected to swell from 400 million today to over 600 million by 2040.
Through its allegiance with SingHealth, access to Medtronic’s diabetes care products is expected to widen. The partnership will also improve SingHealth’s accessibility to Medtronic’s diabetes technologies when conducting research proposals, while also enabling both companies to collaboratively conduct projects of their own.
Diabetes care has been at the forefront of Medtronic’s more recent strategic partnership announcements. Starting off the year, the company said it was developing a smartphone app using IBM technology that could predict incidences of extreme low blood sugar. Medtronic is also partnering with Qualcomm Life to develop a next-generation continuous glucose monitoring system.