This Week In Devices [11/2/2012]; The Patent War Over the VAC; More Jobs Cuts at St. Jude; Taiwan's Medical Device Industry; Medical Devices in a Hurricane


The story of the VAC and how it launched a patent battle. St. Jude has cut 500 jobs. Taiwan wants to expand its medical device industry. FDA issues tips for medical devices in a hurricane disaster.
St. Jude Cuts 500 Jobs
As the company struggles with declining sales of its heart devices -not to mention the controversy caused by the devices' flaws and failures - St. Jude Medical announced that it has laid off 500 employees. This follows the termination of 300 employees this past August. In a statement the company has said: "We will provide any additional details pertaining to the impact on cost savings associated with our realignment process on our fourth quarter and full-year earnings call in January." [StarTribune]


The Patent War over the VAC
The story of the VAC, a simple device for closing wounds that has made millions for its inventors since its introduction in 1995. The VAC has become widely used and has even been battle tested in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's a device so simple and (more importantly) so profitable that competitors have sought to undermine the inventors' patent in order to bring competing medical devices to the market. [Fortune]
Taiwan Wants to Jumpstart its Medical Device Industry
With a healthcare market filled with a growing number of elderly and patients with chronic disease, the Taiwanese government is efforting to nurture industry growth in kidney dialysis machinery, respiratory care equipment, in vitro diagnostic technology, microsurgery, and high-end dental device technology. Reports say that medical equipment sales in Taiwan reached almost $3.42 billion in 2011 and is poised to increase by 7% in 2012. [Taiwan Today]
What Do You Do With Medical Devices in a Hurricane?
FDA has released a guide offering tips and recommendations on mainting medical devices and safety during a hurricane disaster. [FDA]