Medtech Outtakes – Issue 3

18-06-2019 18:06

The Medical Innovation Xchange (MIX) in Kitchener

The Medical Innovation Xchange (MIX) is an innovation hub recently started by Intellijoint Surgical in Kitchener, Canada. Intellijoint Surgical is a medical device company based in Waterloo (few kilometers west of Kitchener). They recently developed a technology that provides the exact measurements and locations to help surgeons in hip replacements.

MIX is launched to encourage collaborative efforts which will help startup companies to expand their market worldwide. It is essentially a hub for health care professionals, scientists, industrial experts and venture capitalists to meet and exchange ideas to overcome hurdles in establishing a product on a global scale.  

Currently, the 30,000 sq. feet space is shared by Intellijoint and three other companies namely:  (i) Penta medical who developed a wearable device to deliver infrared therapy to areas of injury (or) pain; (ii) Vena medical is currently promoting an imaging microcatheter that allows physicians to see inside patient’s blood vessels; (iii) Bloom-care solutions has designed an app that improves on-demand access to health care providers.

Source: https://www.therecord.com/news-story/9432753-intellijoint-launches-collaborative-med-tech-hub-in-kitchener/

Medtronic and IBM collaborates to improve diabetes management

Medical device giant, Medtronic has been collaborating with Apple, Fitbit and IBM to further improve the analytics of continuous data generated from their health tracking devices. Recently, they have collaborated with IBM Watson Health to add a feature known as “IQ cast” to the Sugar.IQ app.

Sugar.IQ works on the iOS platform and has been integrated with the Medtronic’s Guardian Connect system mainly to help diabetic patients to stay within the normal blood sugar range of 70-180 mg/dL. IBM Watson Health’s machine learning capabilities now enables the app to predict low blood glucose level within the next 1-4 hours.

On June 10th, IBM and Medtronic presented their recent findings at the American Diabetes Association annual meeting. This clinical study showed that “IQ cast” feature in the Sugar.IQ app helped patients using Guardian Connect system to maintain blood sugar level within the normal range for an extra hour.

Fig 1. Basic display of the glucose stats of a diabetic patient with the Sugar.IQ app. (Modified from: https://www.medtornicdiabetes.com/products/sugar.iq-diabetes-assistant)

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/medtronic-ibm-study-machine-learning-app-glucose-monitoring-hardware-combo-improves-diabetes-management/; https://www.zdnet.com/article/medtronic-ibm-add-ai-driven-low-glucose-warning-system-to-sugar-iq-app/

Stryker’s €200 million investment in next-gen medical devices

Stryker is a medical device company globally recognized for their load-bearing implants for orthopedic and spinal applications. The USA-based company which has its headquarters in Kalamazoo, Michigan has been operating in Ireland for more than 20 years in seven different locations.               

Recently, they have been reported to invest more than €200 million at research and development in three of their facilities in Cork city, Ireland. The funding will support projects at their AMagine Institute which develops next generation products by additive manufacturing (3D printing).

These products include devices for orthopedic, cranio-maxillofacial and spine replacements; neurovascular business (stroke treatment products); and the instruments innovation center, which designs and commercializes new surgical devices. This investment is also supported by the International Development Association (IDA) Ireland.

Source: https://www.irishtimes.com/business/health-pharma/medtech-company-stryker-to-invest-200m-in-r-d-in-cork-facilities-1.3924345?mode=amp

Pitchers and Pitches

The Ontario Biosciences (OBIO) pre-caap program (or OBIO Healthmint) organized an exciting “Pitches and Pitchers” event sponsored by Lumera and Whitecap venture capital firms on June 10th 2019. Eleven startup companies from medical devices, therapeutics and digital healthcare sectors participated in this competition.

A brief overview of the medical device companies who pitched their ideas are listed below:

Cohesys presented a flexible, resorbable, polymeric bone tape layered with adhesive coating to facilitate healing of fractured facial bone. This bone tape is designed to overcome labor intensive profiling that is required for placing titanium plates (current gold standard), and also helps to reduce time and procedure complication.

Vena medical, the event winner claimed that they have built the world’s smallest camera that could help physicians identify white and red clots, which is crucial in deciding treatment for stroke. Currently, X-ray is used for locating these clots.   

COSM pitched their device “Gynethotics”, an ultrasound and data guided, 3D printed intravaginal prosthetics to overcome the trial and error sizing of pessaries used to treat pelvic floor disorders.

Fig 2. Ontario Bioscience’s Pitches and Pitchers event.

Source: Medtech Outtakes

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