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What Matters December: MedTech News You Need to Know

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December 07, 2016

Overheard at GMM HQ

"The person who will be affecting change in healthcare policy also thinks we need global warming to combat winter weather."
– Deanna Garner, on the unpredictability of how the new presidential administration will affect healthcare, as discussed in our latest blog.


WHAT THE INDUSTRY IS BUZZING ABOUT

WILL TRUMP MAKE HEALTHCARE IN AMERICA GREAT AGAIN?

We know one of President-elect Trump's campaign promises was to repeal Obamacare, but what else do we know now? Well, we know that he likely won't totally overturn the ACA, as indicated by comments he recently made to the Wall Street Journal, as well as the fact that it would be a "yuuge" undertaking (commence wild gesticulation).

WHAT ELSE?

Hard to say for sure at this point. The FDA will likely get a new top dog. Our Magic 8 Ball says "outlook good" on a possible repeal of the device tax, and some experts expect healthcare to adhere more closely to other types of retail industries with Trump at the helm. After all, part of the beauty of Trump is that he's very rich . . . says Trump.

THE 411

While the 2016 presidential election may or may not actually be over, the general consensus amongst those in the medtech world seems to be that a Trump presidency bodes well for business. Golden and beautiful marquee signs are coming soon to a hospital near you, mark our words.

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WHAT'S THE RETURN POLICY ON THIS THING?

Stericycle reports that medical device recalls recently reached their highest point since 2000. A whopping 116 million units were recalled in Q3 2016, with over 50 companies having to recall more than one product. Not even the Bionic Man could stand up to this kind of scrutiny.

"I'M JUST NOT INTO LABELS"

Not just a line from your Tinder-secured friend with benefits. Almost 30% of the recalls were due to errors in labeling, while 4.6% were attributed to leakage and 59% to general quality control issues. Wait—are we talking about device recalls or dating? Um, yes.

THE 411

The currently available reports don't point to any specific causation for the spike in recalls, but you can check the FDA's recall list to see if any of your dates, we mean devices, are on the naughty list.

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PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

No "time out" needed for Tandem Diabetes Care, Dexcom and TypeZero Technologies. These companies are participating in the International Diabetes Closed-Loop Trial (IDCLT), combining their respective glucose-monitoring function, insulin pump, and software to create the world's first commercially-available true artificial pancreas. Since first described in a medical journal in 1972, patients were beginning to think an artificial pancreas was about as likely to happen as Bob Dylan showing up for the Nobel Prize award ceremony.

WANNA RACE?

Myriad companies, including BD and JDRF, Medtronic, and Abbott, have all been attempting to create a true closed-loop and fully automated artificial pancreas for years. With up to 3 million Americans living with type 1 diabetes, perhaps your local bookie should start taking bets on who will cross the finish line first.

THE 411

With the University of Virginia sponsored IDCLT representing a "new level of sophistication in artificial pancreas research and development," this is a race that just got interesting. Hopefully no recount will be required.

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GOOD TO KNOW

If you've got a medical procedure coming up, you'll probably want to avoid the ECRI's annual report of the "Top 10 Health Technology Hazards." Not that some light reading about the life-ruining consequences of inadequately cleaning duodenoscopes isn't a real mood-lifter, but still.

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