• A Pacemaker for the Stomach

        FDA in early 2015 approved the Maestro Rechargeable System made by EnteroMedics (St. Paul, MN). The device targets the nerve that runs between the brain and the stomach to control feelings of hunger and fullness.The Maestro vBloc system is very much like a “pacemaker for the stomach.” It includes a rechargeable electrical pulse generator and wire leads and electrodes that are implanted surgically into the abdomen through a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure....
  • St. Jude Medical's Brio Device for Parkinson's

         Long dominated by Medtronic, competition is ratcheting up when it comes to using neurostimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease.FDA last year approved St. Jude Medical’s Brio neurostimulation system to help reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor.  The Brio is slightly smaller than Medtronic’s Activa, which the Brio is competing against. The Brio is 1.9-by-2.1-by-0.4 in., while the Activa PC is 1.9-by-2.6-by-0.6 in.FDA cited two clinical...
  • This New Super Material Could Enable Artificial Muscles

    Researchers at Stanford University combined an elastomer with metal ions to create a substance that could one day be used in a self-healing artificial muscle.Nancy CrottiThe new, extremely stretchable polymer film out of Stanford University can repair itself when punctured. (Image courtesy of Stanford University)Scientists have been trying for years to invent an artificial muscle that heals itself. Now a team at Stanford University has done it—a first in a field that’s been developing for...
  • 10 Device Technologies That Got VC Love in Early 2016

         From 3-D printed dissolvable drugs to high resolution heart imaging to anesthesia-free dental procedures, here are the technologies that got the most money from venture capital firms during the first quarter of 2016.Arundhati ParmarRaising capital is a Herculean task these days—definitely not for the faint of heart.Yet these intrepid medtech firms managed to do just that in the first quarter of the year. Cumulatively these 10 medical device companies raised a total of $...
  • Aprecia Pharmaceuticals: 3-D Printed, Dissolvable Drugs

        Name: Aprecia PharmaceuticalsLocation: Langhorne, PATechnology: Don’t let the name of the company fool you. Aprecia does develop drugs, but it holds the distinction of having developed the first FDA approved 3-D printed drug based on its ZipDose Technology platform. That technology creates drugs that are meant to dissolve on the tongue instead of being swallowed. More specifically, the 3-D printed process “stitches together multiple layers of powdered...
  • Acutus Medical: High Resolution Heart Imaging and Mapping

        Name: Acutus Medical  Location: Carlsbad, CATechnology: Acutus has developed the AcQMap High Resolution Imaging and Mapping System that can help electrophysiologists determine where cardiac tissue may be ablated for patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation. This allows them to get a full chamber, high-resolution view in real time, something that they have never been able to achieve before, the company’s website states.Money Raised: $75 millionInvestors...
  • Spirox: Minimally Invasive Treatment of Nasal Obstruction

        Name: Spirox Location: Menlo Park, CATechnology: Spirox is developing a minimally invasive system that ear, nose and throat physicians as well as plastic surgeons may use to treat patients with nasal obstruction.  Money Raised: $45 millionInvestors: Venrock, HealthQuest Capital, Aisling Capital, Aperture Venture Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, and an undisclosed firmContinue >>Logo and image courtesy of SpiroxLearn more about cutting-edge...
  • VertiFlex: Minimally Invasive Spine Implants

        Name: VertiFlexLocation: San Clemente, CATechnology: VertiFlex develops minimally invasive products for the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis. Its Superion Interspinous Spacer system was approved by the FDA last year and is “designed to deliver the implant through a single, small incision in the patient's back,” and is closed with a single suture, according to the company’s website. Given that cost effectiveness of new technology is an overwhelming...
  • Bio Theranostics: Creating Better Cancer Tests

        Name: Bio TheranosticsLocation: San Diego, CATechnology: Bio Theranostics is a molecular diagnostics company that has developed cancer tests. The Breast Cancer Index test can determine future breast cancer risk for survivors as well as the efficacy of anti-estrogen therapy beyond the five-year mark. The company has also developed the Cancer Type ID test that can identify “site of origin for cancers with indeterminate, uncertain, or differential...
  • Apnicure: An Alternative Sleep Apnea Treatment

        Name: ApnicureLocation: Redwood City, CATechnology: Apnicure has developed the Winx Sleep Therapy System to treat patients with obstructive sleep apnea. It is designed to be an alternative to the continuous positive airway pressure masks, often considered the gold standard in treating the disease though patient compliance is low. The system comprises a console, a thin tube that connects the console to a mouth piece that is worn inside the mouth creating a...
  • NiCo: Better Visualization During Brain Surgery

        Name: NiCoLocation: Indianapolis, INTechnology: NiCo is a neurological brain surgery company that has developed several products including the NiCo BrainPath. The device is aimed at improving brain surgery by providing access and visualization of lesions in the subcortical space of the brain. BrainPath received additional clearance last year allowing its use in primary and secondary brain tumors, vascular abnormalities, and secondary bleeds.Money Raised: $15.1...
  • Iowa Approach: New Catheter-based Tools for A-fib

        Name: Iowa ApproachLocation: Iowa City, IATechnology: Iowa Approach is developing a set of catheter-based tools to treat atrial fibrillation or irregular heart rhythm that can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, and other symptoms—and may even lead to stroke.Money Raised: $15 million                              ...
  • Minerva Surgical: RF-Plasma Energy Ablation

        Name: Minerva SurgicalLocation: Redwood City, CATechnology:The company has developed the Minerva Endometrial Ablation System to treat the problem of heavy menstruation in women who are pre-menopausal and do not wish to have more children. The device uses “high voltageradio frequency (RF) electrical current to ionize argon gas that is fully contained and circulated within a sealed silicone membrane of the Plasma Formation Array (PFA)” according to Minerva’s...
  • Convergent-Dental: Anesthesia-free Dental Work

        Name: Convergent DentalLocation: Natick, MATechnology: Convergent has developed the Solea computer-aided hard, soft, and osseous tissue laser. The company boasts that the laser is so fast and precise (not to mention virtually noiseless) that its dentist customers report that they don’t need to use anesthesia in the vast majority of procedures. The isotopic carbon dioxide laser vaporizes enamel, enabling dentists to work anywhere in the oral cavity and from...
  • How to Create a Medical Device Innovation Strategy

    You need your own medical device innovation A-Team that you can run through the stages of a development process. Silicon Valley–based consultant Bruce Lichorowic provides the basics when it comes to doing that.  Bruce LichorowicBruce LichorowicFew if any medical professionals have the time or inclination for creating new medical devices. Clinicians typically use devices they've learned in medical school and make do. If asked, “Is there a better way of doing this?” they'll likely agree...
  • San Diego: Mobile Health Hotbed

        Qmed Readers Vote: 5%San Diego is emerging as an innovator in the field of wireless medical technology, but medtech VC investing is lacking.Qmed Staff"Collaboration between UCSD, Salk Institute research facilities and biomedical field all contribute to medical device innovation.""Most dynamic atmosphere...many small startups""UCSD and med industry push the boundaries for medical device research."Major mobile health innovators including Sotera Wireless, which makes...
  • Chicago: More Than Big Headquarters?

        Qmed Readers Vote: 5%Chicago has some major medtech OEM headquarters. But can it leverage those headquarters to create a stronger medical device hub?Qmed Staff"It has a broad base of manufacturing and service capabilities. It has strong universities. It is centrally connected. It has a strong and growing tech base. And the local culture of hardworking yet approachable people makes for a great networking and community environment."Two major companies in the medical device...
  • Salt Lake City: The Little Medtech Engine That Could

        Qmed Readers Vote: 5%Salt Lake City is a fast-growing hub. But will it every catch up with the big U.S. hubs?Qmed Staff"People are highly experienced, educated, and entrepreneurial in Salt Lake City. The state is tax favorable, allowing new and existing business to flourish. People want to live here as the climate is great and recreational opportunities are abundant and close by."Utah has a fast-growing medical device industry clustered around its capital: Salt Lake City...
  • Los Angeles and Orange Counties: Sunny Times

        Qmed Readers Vote: 9%Edwards Lifesciences' prosperity is a bright spot for the region. Qmed Staff"Innovation is rolling here.""Largest overall group and diversity of medical device companies of all types, which feeds new ideas and cross-pollination"Like the region in general, the medical device industry in Southern California is both massive and sprawled out. There is no single city in the region that is a de facto medical device hub for the region. But most of the...
  • San Jose-Silicon Valley: Innovation Hotbed

         Qmed Readers Vote: 18%Medtech venture capital funding may be dwindling. But the biggest pool of it remains in Silicon Valley. Qmed Staff"Smartest people and newest technology""Lots of smart people""Most risk-taking"Silicon Valley leads the U.S. for venture capital funding. And while the region’s focus is still high tech, it also has a small army of innovative healthcare firms. In recent years, Apple and Google, both  based in Silicon Valley, have shown...