MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Medtech titan Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) took a risk when it bet nearly $1 billion on renal denervation pioneer Ardian years before its flagship device was slated to hit the U.S. market, and the recent foofaraw over the company’s missed clinical trial may have a cooling effect on other device companies, analysts warned.
Rival renal denervation makers Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) and St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) have both slowed their clinical trials while still defending the technology and Covidien (NYSE:COV) plans to wind down its program and ditch renal denervation entirely, but the implications may go even deeper.
If big medtech players such as Medtronic decide to pull back on their risky bets an aggressive buys, it could put a damper on the whole market, analysts told the Star Tribune.
"When the big companies get a lot more cautious and back off and want to see more data, it just extends the time-lines and requires more capital," venture capitalist Peter McNerney told the paper. "It just makes it tougher."
There is at least 1 physician still defending renal denervation as a potential treatment for patients with drug-resistant hypertension. U.K. cardiologist Dr. Darrel Francis, who originally attempted to curb what he correctly predicted as unrealistic expectations about Medtronic’s Symplicity HTN-3 renal denervation trial, is now trying to stem the backlash.
Hospitals put their digital defenses to the test
A group of 12 hospitals is looking to test the security of its digital networks with a series of "mock cyber-attacks" slated to begin in March.
EMR-sharing helps emergency patients, study says
Hospitals with shared electronic medical record systems were able to cut down on unnecessary care, such as repeat medical scans for emergency patients, according to a University of Michigan Health System report.
Whistleblower lawsuits are about to get a major boost
Federal regulators and whistleblowers have a major new arsenal with the impending Medicare transparency initiative, which will shine some light on physician-specific payments.