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What Matters December: MedTech News You Need to Know

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December 06, 2018

Overheard at GMM HQ

"United Colors of Benetton was actually onto something." -Holley Malia Miller, on diversification in the medtech sector.

WHAT THE INDUSTRY IS BUZZING ABOUT

NEW PHONE, WHO DIS?

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed new technology that combines a cell phone with a microchip and a 3D printed attachment to test for HIV, allowing increased access to testing in resource-limited regions and subsequent reduction in transmission rates.

SOUNDS HIGH TECH

Yes and no. While the new platform utilizes nanotechnology to detect the RNA nucleic acids of the HIV virus from a single drop of blood (#FANCY), it costs less than $5 per test and can be used in remote areas where access to medical care is scarce (#BADASS).

THE 411

Traditional virus monitoring methods for HIV are expensive, requiring the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and necessitating a visit to an equipped clinic. Knowledge is power, and this new testing platform makes knowledge way more accessible. Boom.

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DAVID COPPERFIELD WOULD BE PROUD

But even the world’s most famous magician might be jealous that some people can use digital apps with just their minds—no trickery involved. Three participants paralyzed from the neck down underwent a procedure to implant a chip called the BrainGate2 in their brain that allows them to send texts, stream music and browse the web on unmodified devices.

MAGICALLY TURN THOUGHTS INTO TEXT

Using a series of micro-electrodes implanted in the brain which interpret the neural signals associated with the intention to move a limb, the study participants were able to perform common digital tasks, including ordering food online, browsing the Internet sending email, and playing games. The findings could have a major impact on the lives of those affected by neurologic disease, injury, or limb loss. And increase online retail sales.

THE 411

Off-the-shelf devices can facilitate communication, mobility and independence—without having to break the bank. Now, if we could only apply this to health insurance to the over 65 crowd.

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IT'S ALL ABOUT THE "BIG C"

Now, any physician can screen for cancer with the new universal blood test being brought to market by researchers in the UK along with medical assay company IMSTAR. If that’s not enough to impress you, the FDA also just approved a new treatment that targets cancer cells in the DNA versus tumor location. Sooooo, good news all around!

THE END OF CHEMOTHERAPY & RADIATION?

Not even close but both are game-changers for cancer prevention and treatment. The universal blood test indicates the presence of cancerous cells in the body (although not the specific type of cancer) and also one’s risk for developing cancer in the future, while the new oncology treatment showed efficacy for adults and pediatric patients, regardless of tumor type and location of the cancer.

THE 411

When it comes to cancer, prevention and treatment just got a whole lot smarter. Now, if we could just find affordable health insurance. . .

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GOOD TO KNOW

The organ black market may be terrifying AF, but after an anonymous tip about the whereabouts of a stolen giant inflatable colon resulted in its safe return to the Colon Cancer Center, maybe there’s reason for hope.

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