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Q&A with Stryker’s own Kevin Lobo

Kevin Lobo, Chairman and CEO of Stryker speaks with PulseLine about what he sees as the opportunities in 2018 and what sets Stryker apart in MedTech.

What differentiates Stryker from its peers in the healthcare/medical technology industry?

People are the magic of Stryker, and we have a unique culture that sets us apart.  We attract people who are passionate and driven to make healthcare better and improve lives globally.  Our employees are humble and hardworking and have earned numerous accolades as a great place to work, including being recognized for creating an environment that fosters diversity and inclusion.

We are intensely focused on customers and differentiate ourselves through an organizational model of business unit specialization.  Each unit has its own sales, marketing, R&D and business development teams that collaborate closely with our customers. This approach results in customer-driven innovation that improves the patient and customer experience.

How do you view your role and responsibilities in improving healthcare? What are some of the major areas in which you think you can make a significant difference?

We are guided by our mission—Together with our customers, we are driven to make healthcare better—and our values—Integrity, Accountability, People and Performance.

We are driven to improve outcomes for patients and caregivers. For example, our mechanical thrombectomy products, which remove clots from blood vessels in the brain, combined with better pathways for care for stroke victims, have the potential to significantly reduce disability and save lives. Mako, our robotic arm-assisted surgery product, enables surgeons to have a more predictable surgical experience when performing joint replacement surgery.  And our emergency powered cots help protect EMTs from back injuries when loading and unloading patients into ambulances.

What does innovation mean to you? How do you create a culture within the company that supports this, and how do you work with partners to move these innovations forward?

Customers and patients are at the heart of everything we do. We nurture innovation to solve customer challenges. That approach began with our founder, Dr. Homer Stryker, an orthopaedic surgeon in Kalamazoo, Michigan, who invented products in the local community hospital where he worked, all in an effort to better serve the needs of his patients.

Today, we collaborate with hospitals and healthcare providers to make sure we understand their practice environment, treatment protocols and unmet needs. Our deep understanding of our customers helps us design and manufacture products and services that make a difference for them. We also find new innovations through a disciplined approach to strategic mergers and acquisitions that allows us to further develop new technologies and integrate them into our product portfolio.

We have acquired over 40 companies in the past five years and have increased research and development spending significantly.  The result is a leading technology position in many areas such as hard-tissue robotics, 3D-printing of titanium, mixed-reality use by sales teams, and advanced imaging for minimally invasive surgery.

What’s your vision for the company over the next 5 years? What would you like it to be known for?

We’d like to be known as the global MedTech leader in Orthopaedics, Medical and Surgical Equipment, and Neurotechnology and Spine.   We expect to continue our impressive track record of growth by providing meaningful innovations to improve customer and patient outcomes. We think we can do that by attracting people who care deeply about making healthcare better and using their expertise to improve lives around the world.

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