• Samsung Wants to Make Wearables More Useful

    FitBit has coasted to a $7.5 billion valuation by selling products that primarily track steps. Samsung has announced that it has developed a processor for wearables that can do much more: gauging body fat, skeletal muscle mass, heart rate, skin temperature, and stress levels.Brian BuntzLittle has changed with fitness trackers since the first FitBit was announced in 2008. Current-generation devices may offer improved designs and somewhat improved functionality, but they still are primarily...
  • Why We Are Driving Toward Data-Driven Healthcare

    Google Maps users now have more information at their disposal about street than most doctors do for their patients. But the healthcare industry is starting to adopt consumer-inspired data technologies, which could change everything from how medical device software updates are performed.Brian BuntzElemental Machines CEO Sridhar Iyengar sees big potential in sensors and machine learning in the life sciences field. He will be chairing a session related to the subject at MD&M West in Anaheim in...
  • Senate Medical Device Bill Raises Concerns

    The degree to which lobbyists and FDA collaborated when drafting the text of the 21st Century Cures bill is peculiar, according to some legal scholars and consumer advocacy groups.  Brian BuntzAs early as next month, the Senate will consider passing “The 21st Century Cures Act” after the House overwhelming voted in favor of the bill, which passed with 344 votes in favor and 77 against on July 10.While supporters of the bill state that it will do much to improve patient access to new...
  • The Top 10 Medtech Crimes and Controversies of 2015

    2015 was a year marked by several eyebrow-raising reports of medical-device-related cancer outbreaks and infections, fraud, and the murder of a handful of medical device professionals. We look back at the biggest controversies and crime stories of the year.Qmed Staff1. Why a Company Acquired by J&J Is Accused of Major FraudBefore Johnson & Johnson acquired Acclarent for $785 million in 2010, its top executives were engaged in a host of fraudulent activities in anticipation of an...
  • How Nanotube 'Forests' Could Create Better Diagnostics

    MIT engineers think the nanotube coatings could be used to trap hard-to-detect molecules.Qmed StaffThe patterned and cylindrical structure is comprised of carbon nanotubes. (Image courtesy of MIT)A coating made of “forests” of carbon and nanotubes can be engineered to trap certain particles, providing the potential to finely tune microfluidic devices to detect extremely small and rare viruses and proteins, according to new research out of MIT.“There are smaller bioparticles that contain very...
  • Toshiba Could Be Pulling Out of Medtech

    The troubled Japanese multinational plans to sell at least a majority stake in its profitable healthcare business.Qmed StaffToshiba's roughly $3.5-billion-a-year makes diagnostic impaging equipment, such as the MRI machine shown above. (Image courtesy of Toshiba Medical Systems)Toshiba could be saying sayonara to part if not all of its medical device business amid a massive restructuring and layoffs meant to revitalize the Japanese multinational, which is still reeling from a major accounting...
  • Did Olympus Fail to Report Deadly Scope Problems?

    An Olympus employee in the Netherlands found contamination in a TJF-Q180V duodenoscope as early as 2012, but the Japanese multinational for years did not raise alarms in the U.S., according to an LA Times investigation.Olympus' TJF-Q180V duodenoscope, as shown on the company's websiteQmed StaffOlympus failed for years to alert U.S. hospitals that its TJF-Q180V duodenoscope had been linked to superbug outbreaks, even as the deaths mounted and more people were put at risk, according to...
  • The Secret to Innovation Driving Medtech Growth

    Guess which medical device OEMs have been savviest at acquiring innovative technologies and getting them to market.Chris NewmarkerA funny thing happened on the way to producing a roundup of the five best performing medical device companies of 2015. It became obvious that four of the top-performing major medical device firms had their growth fueled—at least partly—by their cardiovascular business. One word summed up why: “innovation.”But as in most cases, it was a lot more...
  • How Medtronic Is a Big Innovation Buyer

    This year saw Medtronic on a spree to acquire new technologies after its $48 billion merger with Covidien.Chris NewmarkerTalking about acquiring innovation, Medtronic has been the prime example in 2015—engaging in a more than $1 billion spending spree to acquire a host of new technologies.Medtronic, for example, announced in August that it would spend $458 million to acquire privately held Twelve Inc.(Redwood, CA) and its transcatheter mitral valve replacement technology. The purchase...
  • 10 Ways to Avoid Killing Your Innovation

    Want to be the next big thing in medtech? Take these 10 lessons to heart.Chris NewmarkerOne of the most popular stories on Qmed this year came courtesy of Ted Harro, founder and president of Noonday Ventures, whose talk at Minnesota Medtech Week in November provided fodder for “5 Ways to Kill Innovation in Your Company.”Readers connected so much with the insights, such as avoiding scary hurdles in the innovation process, that we ignored Harro’s tip about not doing knock-offs and produced...
  • What You Need to Know About Medtech's Dirty Secrets

    Superbug infections, questions about off-label promotion, and cybersecurity were all sources of concern in 2015.Chris NewmarkerThe medical device industry has a number of issues that should cause concern as it enters 2016.For example, there was a surge in interest and lawsuits related to superbug infections in 2015, thanks to deadly outbreaks associated with a particular type of endoscope called a duodenoscope.It has proven hard to draw the line between legal off-label use and illegal...
  • These Stories of Medtech Derring-do Will Inspire

    Fretting over barriers stifling your innovation? Read these stories.Chris NewmarkerQmed readers this year were once again drawn to stories of necessity driving people to invention.For example, there was the story of Harry Paul (shown above), who has a congenital form of scoliosis, spending three years in high school working on a spinal implant. Paul, now a student at Tufts University, partnered with the K2M Group (Leesburg, VA) to refine its design and file a patent for it.Don’t let any...
  • The 5 Most Important Medical Device Stories of 2015

    From the relationship between innovation and medtech success to the major problems facing the industry, here are five significant themes from our most popular stories.Chris Newmarker          Medical device innovation—or potential lack of it—proved to be a major theme among many of Qmed’s most-read stories this year.Readers were drawn to the success stories, as well as advice on how to avoid squelching innovation. They also wanted to be warned...
  • Laser Printing Images the Size of a Hair Follicle

    A new laser printing technique now makes it possible to print high-resolution data and images with unprecedented quality at microscopic dimensions. Kristopher SturgisImage of the Mona Lisa, printed at just 50 micrometers long, roughly 10,000 times smaller than the real painting. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) believes that this new technology could serve as a significant breakthrough in the field of nanotechnology, and could soon replace most conventional forms of laser printing...
  • The Top 5 Medical Device Companies of 2015

              2015 may go down as a comeback year for the cardiovascular device sector. It wasn’t long ago that many professionals in the industry assumed the niche’s glory days were over. But this year, many of the most successful device companies have been expanding their cardiovascular businesses.  It’s not surprising then that four of the top-performing major medical device firms had their growth fueled—at least partly—by their...
  • 3-D Mammography Sends Hologic Skyrocketing

    FDA-approved Genius 3D mammography systems played a major role in Hologic’s stellar growth this year.Chris Newmarker Mammography innovation has been driving stellar growth for Hologic, which saw its stock value rise 46% through much of 2015. The Bedford, MA–based medtech company says it has been seeing accelerated adoption of its FDA-approved Genius 3D mammography systems, with breast imaging and services up 26% during the fourth quarter alone. Hologic boasts that the 3-D imaging is able...
  • Interventional Cardiology Drives Boston Sci Growth

    The Watchman left atrial appendage closure device and Lotus TAVR device are among the company’s innovative cardiovascular products. Chris NewmarkerBoston Scientific CEO Michael Mahoney in recent years has been making good on his promise to turn around years of sluggish performance. The company’s stock has roughly tripled in value since late 2011, and is up 42% so far this year. In fact, a report from Evaluate Medtech found that the company’s share price rose 34% in the first six months of the...
  • Cardiology Pumps Up Terumo's Profits in 2015

    The Japanese company’s stock is up by nearly a third in value so far this year. Terumo, as with many medical device companies that fared well in 2015, has a strong cardiovascular business, having acquired some of their assets in this area from 3M in 1999 and UK-based Vascutek Ltd in 2002. Since then, the company’s share price has grown steadily for the most part, and the company has acquires a handful of other cardiovascular firms, including MicroVention Inc., the heart valve division of Köhler...
  • Edwards Stock Hits All-Time High This Year

    Edwards Lifesciences' latest TAVR device, approved by FDA in June, includes a major design change to solve previous leakage issues. Chris Newmarker Edwards has certainly had meteoric growth since the beginning of 2014, with its stock rising from the mid-$60 range then to the $155 range in July of this year. After a 2-for-1 stock split this month, its roughly $80 per share stock is still trading 28% higher than comparable stock at the start of the year. Not bad considering the company’s...
  • Nipro Takes Off in 2015 Despite Asia's Economic Woes

    Dialysis and cardio products are some of the Japanese company’s major growth drivers.Chris NewmarkerDespite a deteriorating Chinese economy and a still-recovering Japanese economy, Nipro has managed to continue growth, boosting sales by 16% and profits by 3% year-over-year during the six months ended September 30. The company credits “continued efforts to expand sales and reduce costs.” Nipro reports solid performance for its injection-transfusion products, enteral-alimentation products,...