Continuing its drive toward value-based health care, Medtronic PLC has named a Boston interventional cardiologist and clinical trial researcher to become its new vice president of global clinical research and analytics.
Dr. Laura Mauri will start to transition into the new job in June, and will fully assume the role on Sept. 1, reporting to Medtronic Chief Medical and Scientific Officer Dr. Rick Kuntz.
“Laura is really not only an expert in clinical research methodology, but she has a good understanding of how to evaluate technology through her academic experience, and has an understanding of data science. So she is really ideal for the future leadership of the company in this area,” Kuntz said Friday.
Mauri will step away from her role providing front-line care for patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, but she plans to retain her professorship at Harvard Medical School.
She garnered attention in the cardiology world several years ago for her leading role in the DAPT trial, an international clinical study of more than 25,000 stent patients that addressed widespread questions about whether and how long patients should take antiplatelet drugs after having stents implanted.
The study documented a significant reduction in heart attacks and reblocked arteries, but an increase in bleeding events among patients who took antiplatelet drugs for more than a year after stent placement. Mauri said the trial’s real contribution was in helping doctors understand more about the overall risks and benefits, which can be used to craft individualized treatment plans.
“Not every patient may derive the same benefit or risk from a treatment. So how do you best target therapies?” Mauri said. DAPT “was important for individual patients who want to be treated in a way that matches their needs, but also for the broader health care environment so we can reduce not only risk, but waste.”
Medtronic is heavily engaged in trying to understand the full spectrum of benefits and risks for its devices as it moves into “value-based care.” That term can mean many different things; for health care suppliers, it often involves “risk-sharing” contracts with hospitals and health care providers in which product prices vary depending on the treatment’s success.
Medtronic already has contracts with hospitals in Minnesota and around the country in which it pays sizable rebates if a doctor uses a Medtronic infection-fighting device called a Tyrx envelope in a heart-device surgery and the patient develops an infection anyway. All of Medtronic’s business units are now developing their own value-based strategies, to respond to concerns about spiraling health care costs, Kuntz said.
Part of Mauri’s new role will be to devise ways to generate the substantial evidence needed to support value-based care. She said Medtronic’s dedication to value-based care and to addressing industrywide problems like infections was a major factor in her decision.
“That’s actually what really I think is attractive about Medtronic as an organization, that there is a vision and true leadership in that area,” she said. “I see value-based health care as one perspective to take a look at how do we improve health care overall. And from the perspective of the role that I’ll be in, that’s an area that really needs clinical evidence.”