Say hello to MassDevice +5, a bite-sized view of the top five medtech stories of the day. This feature of MassDevice.com’s coverage highlights our 5 biggest and most influential stories from the day’s news to make sure you’re up to date on the headlines that continue to shape the medical device industry.
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Former employees at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services used confidential information on Medicare reimbursement changes for radiation treatments and dialysis in a nearly $4 million insider trading scheme, federal prosecutors and the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission alleged today.
An SEC lawsuit and a criminal complaint accuse political consultant David Blaszczak, founder of Precipio Health Strategies and the one-time colleague at CMS of Christopher Worrall, of feeding inside information on the rate changes from Worrall through Blaszczak to traders at Deerfield Management. The traders – Ted Huber and Jordan Fogel – are accused of using the information to make moves on healthcare stocks affected by the Medicare rate changes, allegedly racking up profits of $3.9 million. Fogel pleaded guilty last week, the prosecutors said. Read more
Patients treated with the Alair device made by Boston Scientific showed long-term improvement in controlling their asthma, according to a post-approval study released today at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society in Washington.
The Alair bronchial thermoplasty treatment uses a bronchoscope to deliver radiofrequency energy to reduce the amount of excess smooth muscle tissue in the airways. Boston acquired the technology when it paid $194 million in cash for Asthmatx in 2010, shortly after that company won 510(k) clearance from the FDA for Alair. The deal also included some $250 million in potential milestones through 2019. Read more
The Apple Watch can automatically detect atrial fibrillation (AF) using its built-in heart rate sensor and artificial intelligence, according to a new study.
The research used a deep neural network that was based on photoplethysmographic (PPG) sensors that are frequently found in smart watches. When paired with an artificial intelligence-based algorithm, Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor can detect AF. Read more
A new energy storage system charges itself using ions from inside the human body – providing an exciting alternative to traditional batteries used in pacemakers, according to researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Connecticut.
Researchers at the universities developed a bio-friendly energy storage system called a biological supercapacitor; it’s harmless to the biological systems in the body. The device could enable cardiac pacemakers and other implantable medical devices that last longer. Read more
Abbott is recalling nearly 29,000 controllers for the HeartMate II implantable heart pump made by its Thoratec subsidiary after 26 patients died trying to change out the controllers on their own.
The March 29 recall of 28,882 controllers for the HeartMate II left ventricular assist device follows 70 reports of “incidents in which the controller has malfunctioned after an exchange,” including 19 injuries and the 26 deaths, according to the FDA. Read more