What Matters July: MedTech News You Need To Know

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July 08, 2019

Overheard at GMM HQ

"We may not have a crystal ball to predict our performance, but examining our client wins is the next best thing.” - Ronda Fallon, on Grey Matter Marketing’s recently published case studies.

WHAT THE INDUSTRY IS BUZZING ABOUT

SO TIRED I COULD DIE

Literally. A  recent NYT article cites that chronic insomnia, which affects 5% - 10% of older adults, is linked to an increased risk of developing hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, heart attack, depression, anxiety and premature death. So if you didn’t have enough to stress about while trying to fall asleep, go ahead and add that to the list.

THIS INFO BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NUMBER 6

The magic number of hours of sleep necessary to ward off the insomnia grim reaper may be six hours. Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine found that the risk of developing hypertension was five times greater among those who slept less than five hours a night, but there was no increased risk among those who regularly slept six or more hours. Likewise, the risk of developing diabetes was twice as great for those who slept between five and six hours.

THE 411

Trouble sleeping? While a shift called a circadian phase advance naturally occurs with advancing years, healthy sleep habits like minimizing the use of caffeine, cigarettes, stimulants and especially alcohol can help. Nighty night.

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HIGH HOPES

The first gene therapy for children under 2 with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) has recently been approved by the FDA, offering a novel treatment for the leading genetic cause of death in infants. In speaking about the approval, FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D. said, “The potential for gene therapy products to change the lives of those patients who may have faced a terminal condition, or worse, death, provides hope for the future.”

CHECK PLEASE

Onasemnogene abeparvovec-xioi (Zolgensma, AveXis Inc, a Novartis company) is a breakthrough orphan drug that just may save countless affected children's lives; in addition to prolonged survival rates, clinical trials also showed improvement in muscle movement and function. At $2 million for a single dose, Novartis’s Zolgensma is the most expensive medicine to date. It’s the insurance companies’ world and we’re just living in it.

THE 411

The maker of the new drug is working closely with payers to create 5-year outcomes-based agreements and novel pay-over-time options, hoping to give patients with SMA another treatment option to minimize the progression of SMA and improve survival.

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THE NOT TOO MUCH, NOT TOO LITTLE

The ECRI once again named medication errors related to infusions pumps as the top technology hazard for 2019. That’s bad news given that 90% of hospital patients receive IV infusion therapy. The good news is that the FDA recently approved Ivenix, a large-volume infusion pump that features proprietary technology that measures the fluid moving through the pump and adjusts its action in real time. Consider it the Goldilocks of infusion pumps.

SO EASY MY KID CAN DO IT?

Operating the pump was designed with a smartphone-like user interface, which lets clinicians remotely monitor infusions and be notified of any problems. No ability to play Words with Friends though .

THE 411

The bottom line, infusion pump errors are estimated to cost approximately $2 billion annually and can result in serious or life threatening adverse events. We’re pumped (pun intended) the data suggests that the Ivenix Infusion System can enable clinicians to more quickly administer IV medications with significantly fewer errors.

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GOOD TO KNOW

Despite all the hoopla you’ve probably heard over the last several weeks, your phone is probably not, in fact, messing with your head. Like, your actual skull. #mindblown.

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