What Matters June: MedTech News You Need To Know

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June 04, 2019

Overheard at GMM HQ

"Organic isn’t just taking over the produce section at the Piggly Wiggly, it’s also taking over Internet searches.” - Holley Miller, on a key component of leveraging SEO to capture online traffic.

WHAT THE INDUSTRY IS BUZZING ABOUT

S IS FOR SCREEN TIME

And O is for Obesity, and the World Health Organization has some thoughts about how the two might be linked. In a newly released set of guidelines, the organization advised that children under 1 should not be exposed to any electronic screens, and children between 2 and 4 should have their sedentary screen time limited to an hour or less per day. Children should also consider walking to school uphill—both ways and in the snow!!—to appease grandparents everywhere. But nothing official from the W.H.O. on that just yet.

IS THIS JUST FUEL FOR HELICOPTER PARENTS?

Although no hard-and-fast data about the evils of screen time was cited for these particular guidelines, per se, video game addiction has just been added to W.H.O.'s list of modern day ills as it increases sedentary time. With that in mind and no data supporting any benefit for allowing children under 18 months to consume screen media, the W.H.O. appears to be applying the precautionary principle and saying: “If we don’t know that it’s good and there’s any reason to believe it’s bad, why do it?”

THE 411

The bottom line is that kids benefit from lots of play—like, real play out in the world, not virtual play via an on-screen avatar—as well as lots of sleep (10 hours per night, in fact). The more screen time they consume, the less hours in the day they have for the good stuff.

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HAVING BABIES IS SO 2014

The number of U.S. babies born in 2018 dropped 2% from 2017, marking the fourth year the number of births has declined after an increase in 2014 and the lowest number of births in 32 years, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

UHHH, IS THAT GOOD OR BAD?

Well, depends on how you want to look at it. One could argue that because the fertility rate in 2018 was below the replacement rate—the level at which a given generation can exactly replace itself (2,100 births per 1,000 women)—it’s bad news, but the rate has generally been below replacement since 1971 and the Trader Joe’s parking lot still seems to be overcrowded. All. The. Time.

THE 411

Teen births are way down (down 58% since 2007, to be exact), births among women in their late 30’s and early 40’s increased by 1%-2%, and C-section births are at the lowest rate since 2009. Geek out on the data all you want, then go take a casserole to a new mom who won’t have time to read a full article for another year (or five).

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THE FINAL FRONTIER FOR VENDING MACHINES: THE OPERATING ROOM

Yes, that’s real, but we’re not talking about Gatorade and Snickers. Xenco Medical, a company that makes disposable spinal tools and implants, is unveiling an in-O.R. vending machine for tracking and dispensing these devices.

WHAT HAPPENS IF IT EATS YOUR DOLLAR BILL?

Not exactly that kind of vending machine. A large touchscreen will allow physicians to get specs of various devices, select the appropriate device, and watch tutorial videos before it spits out pre-packaged sterile devices that are ready to go as soon as they’re properly opened.

THE 411

Is it a gimmick, or could it change the game for surgical device companies and the reps who’ve been trying to be human O.R. vending machines for years? TBD.

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GOOD TO KNOW

It turns out the sunscreen shamers are onto something. A new study published in JAMA reveals that chemicals in sunscreens are absorbed into the human body at levels high enough to raise concerns about potentially toxic effects. But also: Sunburns. Summer 2019: Pick your poison. Literally.

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