The U.S. is at a disadvantage compared to many nations when it comes to tax incentives. The above image is from the Deloitte Survey of R&D Tax Incentives.
Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) have announced proposed legislation that would simplify the research and development (R&D) tax credit and make it permanent. Slated to expire December 31, 2011, the tax credit has been extended 14 times since it became law in 1981. The tax credit is important for the medical device industry—especially early-stage start ups. Advamed has long supported...
September 19th, 2011
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The Boston Herald has joined the chorus of voices decrying the medical device tax. In a recent op-ed piece, the paper questioned the logic of the American Jobs Act in general and the device tax in particular, arguing that the job increases Obama's policies might create would be offset by layoffs stemming from the Affordable Care Act's tax provisions.

As the article explains, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is announcing that the U.S. government will invest $700 million of funding generated by the Affordable Care Act to create thousands of new jobs. The funding will be used to renovate and construct community health centers, Sebelius says. The thing is, practically everyone seems to agree that the medical device tax provision of that act are...

September 19th, 2011
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This Week in Devices

This week in medical devices, new research from AdvaMed shows that device prices aren't increasing as fast as those of other medical services. Also, NIH plans for a translational biomedical research center take a step toward becoming a reality.

 

September 16th, 2011
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Nitinol stents and delivery systems from Burpee Materials Technology are used in vascular therapy applications.An article over on MPMN highlights the advances made in coronary stents over the years. Since they came onto the market, stents have been used to perform the majority of percutaneous coronary interventions. Several hundred thousand peripheral stents are also implanted annually.

Over the years, stents have become both smaller and more complex. Owing to their unique properties, materials such as nitinol and cobalt-chromium are routinely used for many contemporary stenting applications. The use of these materials has enabled device companies to develop ever-smaller stents with intricate features.
 

Material Selection

Stent design is directly...
September 15th, 2011
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At the keynote presentation held yesterday at the MEDevice Forum in San Diego, Vipul Sheth, vice president of quality for the coronary/peripheral business unit at Medtronic, touched on a number of themes that have been receiving a lot of attention from the industry lately. His remarks covered everything from the role of emerging markets to FDA's renewed interest in enforcement (and sending out warning letters). Following are some of the points that stick out in my mind:

  • India and China will be the future of the industry. The role Asia will have in the future is based on simple math: Compare the U.S., with its population of about 300 million people, with the roughly 2.5 billion people in India and China. There's no question that there is much more opportunity in emerging markets....
September 15th, 2011
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If you didn't know it, this is National Health IT Week (as proclaimed by President Obama), and there's still time to get in on the fun. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology bills it as a "time to highlight the importance of efficient information systems that protect the privacy and security of personal health information while improving the delivery of health care in the United States." The ONC kicked the week off by releasing the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan: 2011-2015, which has as one of its goals helping...

September 14th, 2011
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My ruminations about Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak's candor seem to have struck a nerve with readers. Judging by the comments left on the blog post, Ishrak is more polarizing than I thought he'd be. 

Some of you were excited about Ishrak's reign. rawfish61, who claims to have worked with Ishrak before, writes that "he's a no-excuses kind of leader who digs in deep... and has the horsepower to gain insight" and "will absolutely drive Medtronic to executional excellence." navinajmera shares that sentiment, writing that, due to the realities of healthcare in developed and developing markets, "companies in the healthcare industry will have to adopt a new economic and business model where the cost of bringing products to market are significantly reduced, profit margins and prices on products are brought down and global access and sales are increased." The commenter goes on to write that while "most companies are in denial" about this,...

September 14th, 2011
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Boston Scientific has plucked its next CEO from the executive ranks of a top competitor. According to various news reports, Michael Mahoney, chairman of medical devices and diagnostics at Johnson & Johnson, will become the president of Boston Scientific on October 17 and assume the role of CEO on November 1, 2012.

According to the reports, Mahoney won't take over until then because of his obligations to Johnson & Johnson. Ray Elliott, who surprised industry observers by announcing that he would bow out after less than two years as CEO, will still step down in October; cardiology group honcho Hank Kucheman will fill the role of interim CEO until Mahoney can assume full control next year. 

In Mahoney, Boston Scientific has...

September 13th, 2011
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New exclusive content on MD+DI looks at Medtronic's CEO (can he save the device industry?), home healthcare (what's holding it back?), and cardiac devices (what's the problem with them now?).

September 13th, 2011
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Here is a video of Watson destroying all humans, courtesy of Engadget.

Answer: 0000001000001111000001111100011111.
Question: What is AI poetry?

For Jeopardy winner Watson, it was only a matter of time to move from trivial pursuits to instant diagnoses. (Forgive me. That was a lot of puns for one sentence).

The supercomputer that won Jeopardy is now on tap to learn diagnosis and treatment. Incidentally, Ken Jennings recently posted his ...

September 12th, 2011
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