Interview: Ayhan Ozturk Sr. – Managing Director, Medtronic Turkey & Central Asia, Turkey

Ayhan Ozturk2PharmaBoardroom talked to Sr. Managing Director of Medtronic Turkey, Ayhan Ozturk about improving patient outcomes, how the company introduced a whole new standard on integrated healthcare, and their recent USD $25 million investment in a training facility. 

Medtronic recently invested USD $25 million in a state-of-the-art training facility/Center of Innovation, which opened last year. What were your goals with that investment?

This facility boasts a comprehensive set of capabilities, solely dedicated to training healthcare professionals not only from Turkey but from a wide region including Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and Africa). At this center, we provide therapy procedures trainings to healthcare professionals. We would like to further strengthen our training and education facility in Turkey. Our training provides valuable knowledge to physicians and increases the quality of the procedure, while keeping our physicians up to date with latest techniques.

As an introduction for our readers, Ayhan, please give an overview of where Medtronic Turkey stands today, and what strategic priorities you are focusing on now, as Sr. Managing Director.

Medtronic has been present in Turkey since early 2000’s and has significantly strengthened its position in the country over the last few years. Medtronic is rightly positioned to be the leading medical device organization in Turkey. In line with our global strategy, we are always searching for ways to increase our quality and providing the utmost value to our customers. Our organization in Turkey is quite significant with almost 450 employees and a large direct coverage of the country.  We provide valuable support to our customers to make sure patients get the right therapies. Our state of the art Training and Education facility adds unique value to healthcare professionals where we train physicians with the latest therapy procedure tecniques.

Medtronic has strong innovation base with regards to medical technologies and we have always been proud of our products. However, it’s not enough; we’re not just a medical device company, but also a services and solutions provider. Medtronic is positioning itself globally in this respect. Applying that mindset here in Turkey, we are approaching our customers, whether that’s on the state or private side, and offering them value-based healthcare services. We’re aiming to establish productive long-term partnerships with our customers based on economic value and win-win solutions. We would like to be present at every stage of the healthcare continuum cycle from patient registry to diagnosis and treatment and beyond. Ultimately, Medtronic wants to provide support at every step of the journey, hand-in-hand with our stakeholders.

How important is the Turkish affiliate to the company’s global portfolio?

Considering Turkey’s geostrategic positioning, human resources and internal capabilities we believe the country can play an important role for emerging markets and the region. Recently, Turkey has become a sub-region (Turkey & Central Asia) within MEACAT (Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and Turkey). Turkey has been going through a transformation in healthcare. We witnessed significant changes in business models, regulatory environment, hospital infrastructure and reimbursement in the past 10-15 years. It is a very dynamic market with a lot of growth potential and challenges at the same time.

Compared your peers in the market, why is Medtronic the ideal partner for medical technology solutions?

Our mission is our guiding principle for innovation and how we position ourselves within the healthcare world. We recently launched a new innovative business model—integrated healthcare solutions (IHS). This is a company-wide initiative in which Medtronic is partnering with hospitals and forming long-term alliances where we bring experience and expertise to make our clients more efficient and lean. IHS is all about establishing a much more meaningful and in-depth partnership, rather than a traditional buyer and seller relation.  At the same time we invest in enabling technologies; we manage, and optimize their catheter laboratories. This partnership is based on creating economic value for our customers. We are looking for partnership in Turkey. And we believe Turkey has a lot of potential for IHS business model. 

Can you please break down how the company’s product portfolio is segmented across different therapeutic areas?

Today, Medtronic is the world’s leading medical technology company, with the widest product portfolio. Medtronic has four main therapy groups. Our CVG group, known as Cardiovascular Group is the largest segment within the company. It has several specialized therapies under this umbrella—Coronary and Structural Heart, Cardiac Rhythm and Heart Failure, Aortic and Peripheral Vascular, and other cardiovascular related disease management areas. 

Our Minimal Invasive Therapy Group (MITG) is the newest addition to Medtronic portfolio—which came through the Covidien acquisition and covers advanced surgical solutions, respiratory and monitoring systems and medical supplies. The third segment is the Restorative Therapy Group (RTG), which includes products regarding neuromodulation, spine, neurovascular, and enabling surgical technology. The fourth segment is Diabetes in which Medtronic is leading the technology revolution in diabetes care. With our advanced insulin pump technology combined with our continuous glucose monitoring and data management products we deliver state-of-the-art diabetes management.

As the Sr. Managing Director, moving forward a few years, how do you envision Medtronic’s role alongside Turkey’s ambitions in becoming a world-class economy for health services?

Medtronic is a solution partner for both private and public. We are engaged proactively with various stakeholders within different ministries. We believe we can bring value and provide solutions through our global expertise. Healthcare transformation can be achieved through proper regulatory environment, international compliance and quality control standarts and sustainable reimbursement. For this to happen, we are committed to engaging at the highest level with all decision makers in the healthcare environment.

Medtronic is committed to working broadly within the healthcare industry to address system-side challenges, especially around cost and access.

We are known for our life-changing innovations and groundbreaking medical technology. That legacy – along with our broad portfolio, strong industry relationships, and respect for the human condition – enables us to play a central role in solving these problems. We’re forging new – and deepening existing – partnerships to take integrated care further and expanding our expertise to devise powerful solutions with real economic value.

By working together, we will create the far-reaching advancements in healthcare that patients around the world need and deserve to address unmet clinical needs.

Our Mission is to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life which cannot be achieved alone, so we seek to join others to create unprecedented progress in the continuum of care.

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