Computers Inside You, And Data for Health

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The most important thing in tech today is …

not so obvious. Microsoft has a big event today where the company will make news about the future of a cloud-driven Windows. A bunch of analysts have notes about Apple, the next iPhone, and how big a deal it might be. But looking beyond the noise, both Apple and Microsoft are placing big bets on medical technology; Microsoft through its planned $19.7 billion acquisition of Nuance, and Apple through its focus on the Apple Watch.

Both recognize this: To expand their relevance, platform companies need to use technology to solve our biggest problems. And as we’ve seen in the past year and a half more than ever, many our biggest problems involve health.

Enter Medtronic. It’s the biggest medical device company in the world, and yesterday I went in depth with CEO Geoff Martha on Fortt Knox, talking vision and strategy.

One of the takeaways is that miniaturization and artificial intelligence are bringing us to a point where medtech is less about just fixing bad health problems, and more about keeping us healthy to begin with. Affordable technology and realtime data can lead to better advice and insight. But that’s going to take a type of partnership and collaboration that the medical device industry hasn’t traditionally attempted, and that Martha seems eager to pursue.

Bottom line: This expanded mission is key to a broader addressable market for both tech platforms and medical device giants.

Here’s our full conversation. Note the tiny medical devices Martha shows in the first and last two minutes of the interview, and their potential to give consumers more insight into their health:

Coming up today on CNBC’s TechCheck, 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT …

Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha

While you were sleeping …

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. are considering moves to gradually open up their services to one another, as Beijing’s tech crackdown makes it harder for China’s two online giants to maintain the virtual barriers they have built in recent years. WSJ

Facebook said Tuesday it's giving users who manage groups a way to designate experts in the online spaces, a tool that's partly meant to help the social network combat misinformation. CNET

In the broader world …

Wholesale prices for June rose more than expected in another sign that inflation is moving at a faster pace than markets had anticipated. CNBC

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