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What Matters September: MedTech News You Need To Know

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September 07, 2019

Overheard at GMM HQ

"Audiences think they want cute #goatyoga videos, but what they need is relevant, quality content delivered straight to their inbox.” - Mia Benenate, on why it’s critical for medtech marketers to leverage content and email in their digital marketing strategy.

WHAT THE INDUSTRY IS BUZZING ABOUT

FIRST BIRTH, THEN BUPE, AND NOW THIS.

The same type of matchstick-sized upper arm implant that’s currently used to deliver birth control and buprenorphine for opioid dependence has recently been used to deliver a new antiretroviral drug from Merck, islatravir, that could potentially prevent HIV.

SEEMS LIKE A PRETTY BIG DEAL

It sure would be. Merck studied the islatravir implant in just twelve patients at two different concentrations, so larger and more comprehensive clinical trials are needed before we get too excited. “If — and I’m emphasizing if — if it pans out in a larger trial that it delivers a level of drug that’s protective for a year, that would be a game-changer,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease and a leading expert on AIDS.

THE 411

It just might be the thing we (and certainly Merck) have been waiting for. Stay tuned.

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THE ULTIMATE SCIENCE NON-FICTION

Would you be willing to receive an organ transplant… from a lab rat? How about a lab sheep? If Japanese stem-cell scientist Hiromitsu Nakauchi has his way, it could be a possibility.

HOW’S HE GONNA PULL THAT OFF?

Nakauchi, who leads teams at the University of Tokyo and Stanford, plans to grow human cells in mouse and rat embryos and then transplant those embryos into surrogate animals. Nakauchi's ultimate goal is to produce animals with organs made of human cells that can eventually be transplanted into people.

THE 411

Nakauchi is proceeding with caution (for a lot of reasons, obvi, including the fact that the National Institutes of Health has had a moratorium on funding research involving human–animal hybrid embryos since 2015). Don’t expect to see a human-sheep minotaur walking the streets of Tokyo anytime soon (or ever), but keep an eye out for developments on the organ transplant newsfront..

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A REAL KNEE-SLAPPER OF A DEVICE

A newly developed in-clinic device that measures knee function with objective and quantifiable data is allowing physicians to observe functional deficiencies in the knee while the joint is in motion and bearing weight, providing more information about diseases or injuries than static technologies such as X-ray or MRI. It’s like an EKG for your knee, which is precisely why it’s called a KneeKG and yes that is 100% the truth.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

Emovi’s KneeKG is a painless 20-minute test intended to be performed in a sports medicine clinic, physical therapy department of a hospital, or a physical therapy clinic. The patient’s knee is put into an exoskeleton to eliminate artifacts such as skin and muscle, then a camera mounted on a cart follows the movement of trackers that are placed on the leg while the patient walks while software identifies deficiencies in the function of the joint.

THE 411

Knee pain due to arthritis or injury is the second most common cause of chronic pain in the U.S., with osteoarthritis affecting more than 30 million adults. For those of them who have been following the R.I.C.E. method to no avail, the KneeKG sounds like the next best thing.

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GOOD TO KNOW

It turns out that only 32% of hospital physicians comply with accepted hand hygiene guidelines, according to infection control researchers who conducted a systematic review, and 100% of their kindergarten teachers are not mad, just disappointed about it.

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