Medicine today is “very much siloed,” observes Daniel Kraft, MD in a TEDMED presentation. Typically, a hospital has separate departments for oncology, ophthalmology, hematology, urology, neurology, and so forth. This departmentalized structure inhibits dissemination of information across disciplines. In addition, medicine is somewhat insulated from the rapid clip of technological change seen in the consumer space.

But medicine is undergoing a revolution. As new technologies that are coming out, we have the ability to redefine medicine, Kraft says, not just to make it more cross-disciplinary, but to make it more reliant on science. “[Now] we don’t really practice evidence-based medicine. We practice reimbursement-based medicine,” he says. 

Here's a video of Kraft explaining his vision of the medical feature at TEDMED 2011:


January 17th, 2012

this week in devicesAmong stories in this edition of "This Week in Devices," Massdevice interviews Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak and Scanadu views for the $10-million X Prize.

January 16th, 2012

News came out that John Edwards has a serious heart condition, and needs to have surgery next month. According to The Washington Post, Federal Judge Catherine Eagles said Edwards " had “three episodes” and indicated his condition could be life-threatening if left untreated."

The condition has caused the judge to delay Edwards' trial for six counts of felony and misdemeanors. He is accused of concealing nearly $1 million from wealthy donors and using it to help hide his pregnant mistress during his 2008 White House run. This is the second time the trial has been delayed.

The court...

January 13th, 2012
Alexis Lukianov
 Alex Lukianov

On January 10, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the California Healthcare Institute, and BayBio released early results of the California Biomedical Industry 2012 Report, which surveyed  biomedical industry CEOs.

Speaking at the announcement was a panel of three CEOs including Alex Lukianov, CEO of Nuvasive; Rick Winningham, CEO of Theravance; and Stephen Cary, PhD, CEO of Omniox. 

When asked what the broader trends were in terms of FDA, Lukianov cited the much-talked about slow down in device...

January 13th, 2012

At a press briefing heralding the introduction of a new survey of biomedical companies, David Gollaher, PhD, president and CEO of the California Healthcare Institute asked a panel of three life science CEOs why their firms had decided to stay in California, despite the state's less-than-stellar business and fiscal environment.

Alex Lukianov, CEO of Nuvasive (San Diego) initially quipped that the weather was the main attraction, drawing laughter from crowd. But he added that there is a rich history of venture capital and venture-capital-funded companies in the state, resulting in a strong workforce. "That is why our roots are in San Diego," he said. "There is a lot of terrific engineers and...

January 12th, 2012

On January 10, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the California Healthcare Institute, and BayBio released preliminary findings of its California Biomedical Industry 2012 Report from a survey of biomedical industry CEOs. The findings were released at a panel discussion with three CEOs active in the healthcare space:

  • Rick Winningham, CEO of Theravance
  • Stephen Cary, PhD, CEO of Omniox
  • Alex Lukianov, CEO of Nuvasive

(MD+DI provided a recap of the CEOs' reflections. See: "Three Life Science CEOs Explain Why Their Firms Are Staying in California" and "...

January 11th, 2012

The OneMedPlace finance conference in San Francisco featured a panel discussion titled "AdvaMed 2012 CEO’s Unplugged: Global Outlook on Medical Technology" on January 10. The event, which was sponsored by AdvaMed, provided a forum from leaders of three big medtech companies to provide their thoughts on issues ranging from globalization to the importance of integrity in business.

David Lucchino, cofounder of Semprus BioSciences served as the moderator for the panel, which comprised:

  • Joe Almeida, president, CEO and director of Covidien.
  • Vincent Forlenza: CEO of Becton, Dickinson and Company.
  • Michael Mussallem, chairman and CEO of Edwards Lifesciences.

The Value of Entrepreneurship in Big Firms

When asked if the panelists considered themselves entrepreneurs, Mike Mussallem...

January 11th, 2012

There is a lively debate going on in the Medical Devices Group on LinkedIn, which just reached a milestone of 80, 000 members. The topic up for discussion is the device tax, and it's a doozy.

Here are a few choice comments that I thought were particularly effective arguments:

"If you must tax, tax profits rather than sales."

From Paul Stein...

January 11th, 2012

In an interview with BBC, Richard Horton, MD, editor of the Lancet medical journal lambasted the EU regulatory process for medical devices, citing the recent scuffle over the quality of silicone implants.

Dr. Richard Horton Lancet Medical Journal
Richard Horton says Europe's medical device regulation process is a smokescreen.

Horton's comments include a call out of the quality of hip replacements, heart valve replacements, in addition to silicone implants. " We have a smokescreen of device regulation, which is putting patients at...

January 11th, 2012

A new report published by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) urges healthcare facilities to take action on improving the reprocessing of reusable medical devices. The report [PDF] lists 10 immediate steps a facility can take to help solve the problem.

1 The basics: Cleaning and disinfection/sterilization of reusable devices are separate, equally important processes and must be performed before each patient use according to the device manufacturer’s written instructions for use (IFU).

2 The right tools: Have the IFU as well as all cleaning implements and equipment required by the IFU readily available in all the reprocessing areas.

3 Create a multidisciplinary committee to review the priority issues and set a plan for solving them throughout the organization. The following...

January 10th, 2012