Medtronic History

Today we are the world's largest medical technology company, but we come from humble beginnings.
Play Video

From a Repair Shop to a Global Medical Technology Leader

Medtronic was founded in 1949 as a medical equipment repair shop by Earl Bakken and his brother-in-law, Palmer Hermundslie.

Did these two men set out to change medical technology and the lives of millions of people? No. But they did have a deep moral purpose and an inner drive to use their scientific knowledge and entrepreneurial skills to help others.

That spirit — combined with our founders' personal integrity and passion — became our guiding philosophy and, ultimately, the Medtronic Mission.

Our first life-changing therapy — a wearable, battery-powered cardiac pacemaker — was the foundation for many more Medtronic therapies that use our electrical stimulation expertise to improve the lives of millions of people.

Over the years, we developed additional core technologies, including implantable mechanical devices, drug and biologic delivery devices, and powered and advanced energy surgical instruments. Today, our technologies are used to treat nearly 40 medical conditions.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR HISTORY OF INNOVATION

View a Medtronic founder image.

1949 
MEDTRONIC IS FOUNDED

View a first pacemaker image.

1960 
WROTE OUR MISSION;
DEVELOPED THE FIRST IMPLANTABLE PACEMAKER

View a Medtronic Foundation thumbnail.

1979 
ESTABLISHED THE MEDTRONIC FOUNDATION

View a spinal cord-stimulator image image.

1999 
EXPANDED INTO SPINAL CARE

View a remote monitoring thumbnail.

2002 
INTRODUCED FIRST REMOTE MONTORING SYSTEM

NEED

2016 
INTRODUCED  THE WORLD'S SMALLEST PACEMAKER AND FIRST HYBRID CLOSED LOOP INSULIN DELIVERY SYSTEM

View a Mazor X thumbnail.

2019 
LAUNCHED MAXOR X STEALTH EDITION SYSTEM FOR ROBOTIC-ASSISTED SPINE SURGERY

View an image of a first battery-powered pacemaker.

1957 
CREATED FIRST BATTERY-OPERATED, EXTERNAL PACEMAKER

View a prosthetic heart valve.

1977 
INTRODUCED PROSTHETIC HEART VALVE

View a neurostimulation thumbnail.

1983 
EXPANDED INTO NEURO-STIMULATION

NEED

2001 
EXPANDED INTO  DIABETES CARE

View a Medtronic Covidien image.

2015 
ACQUIRED
COVIDIEN

View a spinal cord-stimulator image image.

2017 
INTRODUCED THE WORLD'S SMALLEST IMPLANTABLE SPINAL CORD STIMULATOR

Citizenship

From the Medtronic Foundation to employee-led volunteer projects, we're creating a healthier world — one story at a time.

See what we're doing

One Company, One Mission

See how our Mission guides all that we do.

Read About Our Mission

About Us

Medtronic products and therapies improve the lives of two people every second.

Read Company Overview