What Matters April: MedTech News You Need to Know

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April 05, 2017

Overheard at GMM HQ 

"This Coachella selfie totally captures my personal brand—posting immediately. #wishyouwerehere" 
– Mia Benenate on the importance of understanding your unique brand characteristics.


WHAT THE INDUSTRY IS BUZZING ABOUT

JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS

The Enterobacteriaceae family of bacteria seems to be taking a cue from anti-drug campaigns from the 80s and 90s. A new study out of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine reports a 700% surge in infections caused by the bacteria family that are resistant to multiple antibiotic drugs.

BLAME GAME

The study, which focused on pediatric patients, also found that 75 percent of the antibiotic–resistant infections were already present when the kids were admitted to the hospital, which means we can all stop hating on hospitals for exposing people to bacteria. Says study lead, Sharon B. Meropol, MD, PhD, "Healthcare providers have to make sure we only prescribe antibiotics when they're really needed. It's also essential to stop using antibiotics in healthy agricultural animals."

THE 411

Findings from this 94,000 patient retrospective study pose several challenges, including the fact that the average age of a patient with an Enterobacteriaceae-associated infection was just 4.1 years old, and fewer antibiotics are available to treat young patients. In the meantime, time to stock up on lollipops and stickers.

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THE DOCTOR IS IN (YOUR KITCHEN)

If you have Amazon's Echo or Alexa, you may soon be able to get medical advice and information right from your kitchen counter. Sometimes between popping your whole-grain bread in the toaster, getting the score of last night's baseball game, and listening to Ed Sheeran's Shape of You, you just need some quick facts about healthy blood sugar levels for your diabetes management.

IS IT A DOCTOR WITH AN ONLINE DEGREE, THOUGH?

Amazon's newest medical partnerships are with WebMD and Merck. WebMD will bring its database of medical information to Alexa users with a specific voice command (e.g. "Alexa, ask WebMD what the symptoms of Lyme disease are?"), while Merck is in the early phases of launching an Alexa-enabled service for patients living with diabetes.

THE 411

Most medical professionals have a love/hate relationship with the overly informed patient, and it looks like that relationship could get even more interesting as patients attempt to diagnose themselves between making breakfast and ordering an Uber.

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THE LATEST IN FUTURISTIC FASHION

Smart watches are so 2016. The latest in wearable medical technology comes in the form of a new "living material" and electronics that are woven directly into fabric. We just hope the pants come in petite, regular, and tall.

YOUR OUTFIT LOOKS SICK. NOT IN A GOOD WAY. 

By weaving electronics into textiles, Ohio State University professor Asimina Kiourti is hoping to someday create smart clothing that can monitor vital signs and brain waves, and even track tumor growth. The living material concept, however, infuses live cells into a biocompatible sheet of hydrogel that can be genetically programmed to light up and glow when the cells come into contact with certain chemicals. "You're glowing" isn't the compliment you want to hear while wearing that outfit.

THE 411

Researchers have been jonesing to make truly wearable medical technology accessible and functional for years. Will either of these new developments make the fashion statement they've been looking for? Or will Tim Gunn declare them out?

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GOOD TO KNOW

If you're being treated by a medical resident that appears to be dragging, it could be because they are on the 28th hour of their shift. Luckily, there's a new kind of alcohol featuring a patented technology that infuses booze to make it less harmful to the liver, so they can ease into their off hours every day. Oh 
wait . . . . 

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