Edwards Lifesciences

Edwards' Sapien XT has been a boon for the company in 2014.

Last year, Edwards Lifesciences landed on our list of medtech losers for an overly cautious U.S. launch of the Sapien transcatheter heart valve that threatened its first-mover advantage in the lucrative transcathether aortic valve replacement (TAVR) space. Yet despite Medtronic’s earlier-than-expected U.S. launch of the CoreValve, Edwards has maintained its market-leading position.

The company’s continued dominance in the sector has been attributed to the European launch of the Sapien 3 coupled with the U.S. launch of the next-generation, lower-profile...

December 8th, 2014
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A look at the medtech players that came out on top this year.

Medtech can be a volatile business—one year you're up, the next, you're somebody's punching bag. But in 2014, these players and technologies fared better than the rest. 

 

[main image courtesy of DIGITALART/FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET]

December 8th, 2014
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Medtech experts are increasingly advising companies to look for revenue beyond U.S. shores. The idea is that overseas markets while challenging are ripe for the picking and can help to increase top line revenue given slower markets domestically.

Large companies like Medtronic, Stryker and Covidien have set up manufacturing and R&D facilities in places like China to take advantage of the emerging nation's appetite for healthcare. Companies are also doing business in Brazil, not to mention Japan and Europe. Yet 2015 will bring a new reality for companies operating overseas and in emerging markets - especially for those whose foreign revenue makes up a big chunk of their overall revenue.

The culprit: the strong American dollar, which essentially means that it's more expensive to conduct business overseas.

In a research...

December 8th, 2014
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A new nongovernmental organization is seeking to leverage mobile and connected health technologies to improve healthcare access for the poor in the United States. 

By Bradley Merrill Thompson

I mentioned to a friend that a group I am involved with is launching an NGO called Aventor, the mission of which is to encourage the use of connected health—technologies like mobile apps and telemedicine—to increase access to healthcare for the poor in America.

He looked at me like I was daft, then asked me three questions:

  1. Anatomically speaking, aren’t the poor somewhat similar to the rich? (According to research, it turns out they are!) So how can...
December 5th, 2014
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wearables, mhealth, digital health device, mhealth device

On Thursday, PricewaterhouseCoopers published a report on the top 10 health issues of 2015, which found that 90% of MDs in a survey done by its Health Research Institute said mhealth apps and devices will be important to their practices over the next five years.

And nearly half pf physicians polled said they would use data from an urinalysis device/app for example to prescribe medication or decide whether a patient should be seen. 

As the importanec of wearables and mhealth in the clinical environment is growing, one healthcare provider is actually making a wearable device...

December 5th, 2014
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The medical device industry has not been enthusiastic about the U.S. government’s initiative to ensure its products are safe from hackers.

By Jim Dickinson

You can lead a horse to water, it is said, but you can’t make it drink. That seems to be the federal government’s experience to date with the medical device industry and its apparent lack of a thirst for cybersecurity.

Given until November 24 to file comments on a September FDA call for public input on “Collaborative Approaches for Medical Device and Healthcare Cybersecurity,” both of the two main medical device industry organizations—AdvaMed and the Medical Device Manufacturers Association—told me they had elected not to comment.

Indeed, 10 days after the comments deadline the FDA...

December 4th, 2014
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10. Partner To Win 

If 2014, was the year when a fragmented healthcare industry began to test the waters of unlikely collaborations, in 2015, partnering will become the norm. 

The report urges traditional healthcare companies or well-known, established companies to partner with startups and new entrants to the healthcare marketplace who have innovative, disruptive technologies.

For instance, Walgreen Co. has announced a partnership with diagnostic company Theranos that can cost effectively and quickly perform blood tests in the retailers' locations. 

Terms for collaboration between parties should also involve a certain amount of risk-taking by everyone participating in the collaboration, the report states. 

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December 4th, 2014
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7. Getting To Know The Newly Insured 

The report states that 2015 will be revealing in that greater insight will emerge regarding the 10 million newly insured. According to the report, in 2015, the number of insurance companies participating in public exchanges will increase by 25% compared to 2014. In four states, the number of insurers offering plans on the exhchanges will double while in 32 other states, that number is set to rise. 

In 2015 and years to come, the number of newly insured patients will only rise if projections bear out. This afffords great opportunity for companies. 

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December 4th, 2014
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 9. Redefining Health and Well-being for Millennials

In 2015, millennials will become the largest group in the U.S. workforce, increasing their representation to 75% by 2030, according to the report.

This demographic values work/life balance as well as overall well-being higher than dollars and cents. As a result employers have to refresh their strategies of offering employee benefits and incentives for workplace wellness to address how they can improve wellbeing and deliver an employee experience that millennials will value.

Millennials link an employee's overall happiness more closely to their engagement at work and their productivity, which in turn has real implications for the success of the employer.

Interestingly, while money motivates millennials less than other generations, they rate health benefits offered by an employer as highly as much older generations.

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December 4th, 2014
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 6.Open Everything To Everyone

Transparency is being sought in every nook and cranny in healthcare. And it isn't just a matter of making data available that can help consumers make smart buying decisions, the report notes. There are changes afoot in Europe and in the U.S. that is pushing to get all clinical trials data reported and published given that a fair amount clinical trials data is unreported. This denies researchers valuable information.

The trend toward transparency is being seen amongst regulators too - FDA launched its OpenFDA public database for analyzing drug and medical device adverse events, recalls and labeling information in 2014. This enables patients and physicians to search the data sets to understand how often side effects can occur with specific products. The agency is also encouraging third party developers to create mobile apps to connect patients taking the same medications so they can share individual experiences.

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December 4th, 2014
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