The World Cup officially began today with the opening kick at the Brazil v. Croatia game being made by a paralyzed man, 29-year-old Juliano Pinto, who made the kick thanks to a robotic exoskeleton created by The Walk Again Project. Though Pinto was only able to kick the ball a very short distance, the achievement – which many questioned whether it would even happen – is a significant milestone in the field of brain-computer interfaces for prosthetics.

An exoskeleton allowed Juliano Pinto, who is paralyzed from the waist down, to kick a ball at the 2014 World Cup. [Image via Twitter].
"We did It” Dr. Miguel Nicolelis ...
June 12th, 2014
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Just over a week ago, the Department of Justice announced that Medtronic had agreed to pay $9.9 million to settle accusations that the company had improperly paid physicians to get them to use more of its pacemakers and defibrillators.

The language of the announcement raises an interesting question. Here's what the press release from the DOJ said:

“Improper financial incentives have the potential to compromise physician medical judgment,” said Assistant Attorney General Stuart F. Delery of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “This case demonstrates the Department of Justice’s commitment to pursue medical device manufacturers that use improper financial relationships to influence physician decision-making....

June 9th, 2014
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By Scott Sheaf

 
 
This is a pretty exciting time for mHealth and personalized medicine. We are on the brink of major changes in the way we manage our own health and wellness. Apple and Samsung’s recent entrance into the health and wellness arena with their respective HealthKit and Simband platforms are the latest, albeit high profile, addition to the wealth of work going on in the quantified self and personalized health space. Both companies are taking the approach of developing a platform and...
June 9th, 2014
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There is a term for the seismic changes occurring in medtech and the broader healthcare marketplace today: I call it the "Atlas Shrugged" moment.

Atlas of course is the Greek mythological figure charged with carrying the planet on his shoulders. Imagine him shrugging: If he does, the old world together with all its comfortable assumptions comes crashing down.

That analogy seemed even more apt after an interview with Shaye Mandle, the new president and CEO of LifeScience Alley, a respected industry association in Minnesota that is attempting to reinvent itself just as its customers - medtech firms - adapt to the changes wrought by the Affordable Care Act. 

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June 6th, 2014
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The Proteus Ingestible Sensing Solution

Proteus Digital Health is redefining what remote patient monitoring means with the introduction of a pill that taken alongside a medication can tell physicians whether the patient has been adhering to the medication regimen at home or elsewhere. Earlier this week the company raised a whopping $120 million from new investors.

Improving clinical outcomes by making sure that physicians know remotely when patients haven't taken their medication and alerting...

June 6th, 2014
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From the humble stethoscope invented back in 1816 to the hybrid commercial MRI/PET scanner produced in 2008, medical technology has wrought big changes in the medical industry.

The infographic below, created by OBizMedia.com and presented by SmallCellLungCancer.net, captures all the major technological milestones of the medtech industry including the above, making the case for how the industry has made life better by allowing faster diagnosis, less invasive treatments and shorter hospital stays.

 

[Featured Photo: iSotckophoto.com user ...

June 4th, 2014
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You hear of phrases like the new healthcare paradigm. You hear of a fundamental shift in how healthcare is consumed and paid for in the U.S. You hear how fee-for-service is going to one day collapse under the infinitely more practical, but perhaps a little bit hard to quantify, fee-for-value.

And yet these are not pie-in-the sky schemes, nor the latest buzzword doing the rounds.

To borrow a VC's phrase - a tectonic shift is underway. Medtech companies are being asked by their hospital customers to help solve their problems, sell their devices even more cheaply, and do more to keep patients healthy. As medtech companies try to reinvent their business models, what attitudes that would cause companies to fail need to be identified and then require a full 180-degree pivot?

Here are five:

We are not focused on...

June 3rd, 2014
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Predictable and repeated returns on investments in medical devices have been elusive during the past five years. 

That has led entrepreneurs who are still active in medtech, where many have withdrawn or failed, to search for the most effective models to finance a successful startup.

Of course, there have been some exceptions where above average exits have been driven by investments in ground-breaking technologies such as TAVI, refractive surgical devices and surgical oncology tools. In large part, however, too much capital has been buried in companies hindered by lengthy regulatory and reimbursement processes and expensive distribution efforts.

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May 30th, 2014
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Europe has long been considered an ideal market for the first commercial launch of innovative products, thanks to its size and a regulatory system that is perceived as more predictable, consistent, transparent, and speedy than that of the United States. But with potentially more stringent regulations on the horizon in the EU, will medtech companies reevaluate their launch strategies?

Launching innovative products in Europe first has allowed medtech companies to gain market and patient access three to five years quicker than they would in the United States, ...

May 29th, 2014
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It seems like it wasn’t just President Barack Obama who took inspiration from Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book about Abraham Lincoln entitled, “A Team of Rivals,” and brought on archrival Hillary Clinton as secretary of state after the 2008 elections

Current trends in the orthopedics industry seem to indicate that executives are adopting a similar approach. Zimmer, for example, hopes to have a green light from the Federal Trade Commission on its plan to acquire close competitor Biomet in a deal worth $13.35 billion.

And then just this week after rumors surfaced, Stryker CEO...

May 29th, 2014
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