Medtech stories you may have missed – 06/04/20

Medtech stories you may have missed – 06/04/20

The demand for #COVID19 antibody testing continues to increase, as does the scrutiny regarding tests’ accuracy. While #CDC guidelines have shown that less than half of those testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies actually have them, increasing the number of tests conducted, particularly in areas of high disease prevalence, boosts positive predictive value. This NPR article shows how prevalence and false positive rates affect antibody test results and why using two different tests, which the CDC now recommends for those who test positive, could improve testing accuracy.

As a result of these CDC guidelines, our client BioDot, which provides dispensing automation and manufacturing solutions to the world’s largest diagnostic companies, continues to scale up its manufacturing operations to keep pace with testing demand. The company recently announced that more than 50 companies worldwide are now using its technology to develop #COVID19 #antibody tests. Each of its automated lateral flow dispensing platforms enable customer production of 1 million point-of-care antibody tests per week. Read more in this SelectScience piece.

In COVID-19-related #telemedicine news, our client Prospero Health, a team-based home health care company, has partnered with GrandPad to improve access to care for seniors during the crisis and address gaps in care coordination. Prospero can now provide 24/7 telemedicine support to its vulnerable patients through GrandPad’s video chat capabilities that enable care teams to regularly check in on patients in real-time, while adhering to social distancing guidelines. This story on South Carolina Public Radio highlights how Prospero and GrandPad are contributing to the promise of virtual medical care, which went from being the future to being the new norm.

Medtech stories you may have missed – 06/04/20

Recent medtech stories you may have missed

From Rachel RobbinsSenior Vice President at Greenough Brand Storytellers

Artificial intelligence and robotics top trends that will transform healthcare in 2020

From the use of machine learning to process enormous amounts of medical data to robotics that span surgical use, transporting medical supplies and helping patients with rehab, technology will continue to transform healthcare in 2020. According to this Forbes article, wearable tech, 3D printing and extended reality (virtual, augmented and mixed) also show incredible promise for patients and medical professionals. In fact, a team of scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York has developed a way to 3D print living skin, complete with blood vessels.


Competition heats up in robot-assisted surgery market

Robotic-assisted surgery using da Vinci robots – which enable surgeons to perform delicate and complex operations through a few small incisions – continue to skyrocket. This is evident through Intuitive Surgical’s latest sales numbers, bringing the total number of da Vinci systems in operation to more than 5,400 worldwide. Despite this domination, only about 2% of surgeries worldwide are performed using robotic surgery equipment. The competition is about to heat up, with medical device giant Medtronic planning to launch its Hugo system in 2020—a system they claim is more flexible and cost-effective than those presently on the market.


More Americans using wearable fitness trackers to monitor health than ever before

Millions of Americans are using technology to monitor their exercise, heart rate, calorie consumption, sleep quality and step count. According to ACSM’s survey of 2020 fitness trends, the use of wearable technology—now a $95 billion industry—topped the list for the third year in a row. Google is tapping into the success of the fitness tracker market, going head-to-head with Apple and Samsung, announcing last week it is buying Fitbit for $2.1 billion. The purchase will help Google tap into an enormous amount of health data, with more than 28 million users on the Fitbit platform.


New technology promises to change the future of cancer diagnosis and treatment

In conjunction with Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Auris Health unveiled a revolutionary robot that can detect lung cancer at an early stage. Data from the company’s first study on live human subjects show its Monarch robotic system can successfully target hard-to-reach lung nodules and obtain a tissue sample for biopsy. The robot is a promising advancement that has the potential to change the future of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Similarly, Thermo Fisher Scientific unveiled its Ion Torrent Genexus System this week—a next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform that can deliver results in a single day, which will enable patients to be matched to targeted therapies or clinical trials faster. The system simplifies genomic testing so it can be performed in any clinical setting – including community hospitals, where most cancer patients are treated today.


Medtech stories you may have missed – 06/04/20

Recent medtech articles you may have missed

From Rachel RobbinsSenior Vice President at Greenough Brand Storytellers

Use of artificial intelligence in healthcare continues to gain momentum

A new study from Optum finds that healthcare organizations’ confidence and investment in AI remains high. According to the study, the number of respondents who said their organizations have an AI strategy in place rose 88% year over year. The potential for AI in healthcare continues to soar. A separate study published by The Lancet Digital Health found that AI can detect diseases from medical imaging with the same accuracy as healthcare professionals. It’s no wonder that nine in 10 healthcare executives surveyed by Optum felt confident they’ll see an ROI sooner than previously expected.


Medical robots taking over: in the hospital, at home and on the battlefield

Digital Health firm Diligent Robotics recently announced it raised $3 million in a seed funding round for its AI healthcare assistant, Moxi, a robot that can help physicians and nurses gather and distribute supplies, lab samples and dirty laundry. Diligent will soon begin deploying Moxi following pilot trials at a number of hospitals. Pfizer also announced the launch of a pilot program with Catalia Health to assess patient behavior when interacting with the AI-powered home robot, Mabu, which is designed to coach patients on health and prescription drugs and supply information back to medical professionals to inform them about their patients’ medication adherence. The U.S. Army is also seeing the benefits of medical robots, announcing it will begin using medical drones to aid medics in the field by bringing medical supplies, blood and products to care for wounded soldiers.


Amazon pushes deeper into telemedicine with launch of virtual medical clinic for employees

Through its new virtual health clinic, Amazon Care, Amazon will provide its employees with faster access to healthcare, on-demand. Amazon Care is a pilot program for employees in the Seattle area that combines telemedicine with in-person services to support diagnosis, treatment and referrals. Amazon will also prescribe medications via Amazon Care within a few hours or offer a way for employees to pick them up at a preferred pharmacy. This is certainly one to watch, particularly if Amazon expands the offering beyond its employees.


Medical devices and consumer electronics continue to converge

According to new research from Business Insider Intelligence, the use of wearable technology has more than tripled in the last four years, as consumers continue to take control of their own health. Wearable fitness trackers, smart health watches and wearable ECG and blood press monitors continue to surge, influencing healthcare decisionmakers to take a closer look at the benefits of wearable healthcare technology. In fact, the research found that doctors could save 15 hours per week if their patients use wearable technology. Smart hearing aids are the latest example of lines blurring between medical devices and consumer electronics. These hearing aids amplify sounds for the user and reduce background noise, while also taking phone calls, streaming music, tracking physical activity and even turning on a Bluetooth-connected coffeepot.