Despite the demonstrated value of the technology, remote monitoring is being used on far fewer patients implanted with cardiac devices.  

Arundhati Parmar

You may have heard this before - remote monitoring can be a tremendous boon for patients with implanted cardiac devices.

Yet, here is the ugly truth. Even though the technology is ready, available and there are guidelines for physicians in place that strongly recommended the use of remote monitoring, many patients are still not on it. 

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May 5th, 2016
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A new study finds a direct link between pacemaker-related sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation.

Arundhati Parmar

 

Results of a new study show that pacemaker patients who have sleep apnea are at increased risk of irregular heart rhythm of atrial fibrillation.

The study was presented Wednesday at the 2016 Heart Rhythm Society Meeting in San Francisco, and recommended that pacemaker patients be monitored for sleep apnea to identify their risk for developing AF.

"In recent years, pacemakers have increasingly become equipped with sleep apnea monitoring measures, and in using these tools, we were able to identify how pacemaker patients with sleep apnea are at...

May 4th, 2016
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UnitedHealthcare is restricting many of its members from using any other insulin pump except ones made by Medtronic, a move that is upsetting the passionate, online diabetes community. 

Arundhati Parmar

 

Could there be an impending fight coming between a insurance giant and a very passionate patient community over a Medtronic product? And can patient's prevail in that fight?

On Tuesday morning, Tandem Diabetes Care, which makes the novel, touchscreen t:slim insulin pump that integrates with Dexcom G4 continuous glucose monitor, announced that UnitedHealthcare will no longer cover those pumps. Starting July 1, Medtronic has been selected the preferred vendor for UnitedHealthcare members over 18 and certain other...

May 4th, 2016
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A medical device supplier is trying a novel approach to talk to customers—using named, human characters instead of just product descriptions.

Marie Thibault

It's unusual for a supplier to put anything other than their product front and center when advertising to potential customers. But that's exactly what Smalley Steel Ring Company decided to do when it introduced Shel and Shelli to the world. 

Wait, who? Shel and Shelli aren't exactly mascots, but they do put a human face on Smalley's engineering expertise.

Smalley, a supplier of rings and springs for the medtech and other industries, has approximately 500 employees and is headquartered about an hour's drive from Chicago in Lake Zurich, IL. The...

May 4th, 2016
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A number of this year's MDEA finalists adhered to trends such as improving the patient experience, democratizing care, using data in meaningful ways, and bringing sleek consumer-device-style design to medtech.

Jamie Hartford

Each year, the Medical Design Excellence Awards serve as an opportunity to recognize significant achievements in medical product design and engineering that improve the quality of healthcare delivery and accessibility. The program, which is judged by a panel of jurors made up of designers, engineers, and clinicians, also highlights some of the broader trends taking hold in medtech.

Here are a few trends that came to the fore this year.

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May 3rd, 2016
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The 2016 MDEA Lifetime Achievement Award winner relates memorable highlights from his prolific career as a medtech entrepreneur and shares a few details about his current venture.

Marie Thibault

The basic details of Manny Villafaña’s biography have been told numerous times. His rise from an underprivileged childhood in the South Bronx to become the founder of several successful medical device companies, including Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc. and St. Jude Medical, has made him a pillar of the industry.

Perhaps less known are some of the momentous decisions, between the well-publicized accomplishments, that now seem like turning points in Villafaña’s life. From an outsider’s perspectives, every one of these decisions represents a major risk, but to Villafaña they were a way of life. “You just can’t sit there and say, ‘Wow, Manny, that’s a lot of risk!’ . . . You gotta remember, where I lived in the South Bronx, you had nothing...

May 3rd, 2016
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Abbott wanted to bow out of acquiring Alere for $5.8 million, but now it has to digest that company plus St. Jude Medical for another $25 billion. The integration won't be pretty.

Arundhati Parmar

 

When I interviewed Stryker's CEO Kevin Lobo earlier this year slightly berating him for not doing bold deals lately  unlike the Mako Surgical acquisition — he warned against big "messy integrations."

While acknowledging that those deals are not neccesarily bad, he noted that it's wise not to do two messy integrations at once. Lobo described messy integrations to be those where products, sales and surgeons (i.e. customers) overlap.

The current, very public predicatment that...

May 2nd, 2016
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Name of Company: Corindus Vascular Robotics

CorPath Vascular Robotics System: The Massachussets company has developed the robot to provide a safer, better alternative to the manual angioplasty and percutaneous coronary interventions.

The system comprised a bedside robotic device that is controlled by the surgeon at an...

April 29th, 2016
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Name of Company: Verb Surgical

Unknown: In August, 2015, Verb Surgical was created as a joint venture between Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) and Johnson & Johnson to rewrite the very definition of what surgical robotics or indeed surgery has come to mean.

The California startup's robotic technology comes from SRI Robotics and...

April 29th, 2016
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Name of Company: TransEnterix

SurgiBot and Alf-X: The North Carolina company got a rude shock in mid April when FDA rejected its SurgiBot robot deeming it to be not substantially equivalent to a predicate device. Its fate is unknown at this time.

However, TransEnterix has a second robot - the ALF-X system that it got through an...

April 29th, 2016
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