What Matters March: MedTech News You Need to Know

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March 07, 2017

Overheard at GMM HQ

"You mean the one-size fits all landing page template I bought for $5 from Fiverr isn't going to cut it?" 
– Lauren Kirmil, on the value of generating leads through web forms to reach today's savvy consumers.

WHAT THE INDUSTRY IS BUZZING ABOUT

LIKE A SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT, BUT FOR CANCER

Finally a breathalyzer test you may want to take. A new breathalyzer promises a higher level of sensitivity in detecting early stage colorectal cancer than the current method of fecal occult blood testing.

MORE SCIENTIFIC THAN THE ONE-LEG STAND TEST

After Bill Boyle lost his wife to colorectal cancer following a late-stage diagnosis, he began working on a method to improve early detection. Enter microchip Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometer (FAIMS) technology, which demonstrated a sensitivity of 88% in detecting volatile organic compound (VOC) biomarkers for colorectal cancer in a 1,400-person trial.

THE 411

Survival rates for colorectal cancer are over 90% when detected early, so the increased sensitivity of the FAIMS testing represents a huge life-saving opportunity. Let's toast to this great idea, but it's still not a good idea to drink and drive.

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MO TAXES, MO PROBLEMS

Well, that's what AdvaMed says about the medical device excise tax established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The group recently released data showing that 29,000 medical device industry jobs were cut during the three years the tax was in effect, and they're being super chill about it. Except not really.

ANOTHER REASON TO CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN

Says Scott Whitaker, president and CEO of AdvaMed, "These numbers reveal just how devastating of an impact the device tax had on our industry and underscore the urgent need for permanent repeal." Some pundits think this is highly probable under the newly Republican Congress.

THE 411

If you're reading this (and you are!), chances are pretty good you've seen the company name on your business card change more than once as the result of the never-ending mergers and acquisitions in the device industry, which might have something to do with the dip in jobs. The good news? The industry has seen 374,000 new jobs added in the last 12 months. Maybe we're being optimistic, but it may be time to update your LinkedIn profile. Just avoid these profile photo sins.

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SMARTPHONES GETTING EVEN SMARTER

Researchers at Ohio State have figured out how to turn your phone into a microscope, you know, for all those times you need to do some quick pathology on-the-go.

CAN YOU SEE ME NOW? 

The researchers created a portable pathology scanner with an adaptive elastomer liquid lens, allowing it to pair with a smartphone, that can then image, display, and share the scans. This has the makings of some pretty interesting group text threads depending on who's in your social circle.

THE 411

The device also images an entire slide at once and allows the user to zoom in on specific areas, making it easier to identify tissues that may be an indicator or harbinger of disease. Time to delete some old photos and make room in that data storage. #scienceiscool

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GOOD TO KNOW

Wanna feel old? It's been 20 years since Dolly the Sheep graced us with her cloned presence. Dolly was produced after 276 attempts and was a breakthrough that changed the course of developmental biology. Thanks to Dolly, you can now have your dog cloned, and one day, possibly even yourself. Cue theme music from The Twilight Zone.

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