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Health Tech Weekly Round Up: 22 March

In this week’s round up, find out how medical technology is being used to transform healthcare with Siemens Healthineers’ new x-ray system gaining FDA clearance, Medtronic makes progress in reducing infection in cardiac implants and Stanford University reveals findings that indicate the Apple Watch could detect irregular heart rhythms.  Elsewhere the NHS announces plans to issue life-changing glucose monitors for those with Type 1 diabetes, reducing the use of finger-prick tests, and CMR Surgical (responsible for the Cambridge UK robotic arm) signals growth by expanding its board.

Top Stories

Mobile x-ray system from Siemens Healthineers gains FDA clearance

A new mobile x-ray system developed by Siemens Healthineers has gained FDA clearance. The Mobilett Elara Max provides medical staff with instant access to all necessary patient information in the latest example of the increasing digitalisation of healthcare. Scott Watson, Vice President of x-ray products at Siemens Healthineers North America, emphasised cybersecurity, noting that the technology integrates “advanced cybersecurity features that provide state-of-the-art patient data protection”.

Surgical transformation evangelists join CMR board

The board of Cambridge UK CMR Surgical has been strengthened with the addition of two biomedtech executives committed to surgical transformation. The business, which invented the revolutionary Versius robotic arm for keyhole surgery, will benefit from the appointment of Kelly Londy and Camille Farhat, CMR Surgical chairman, Erik Langaker revealed. Each with extensive experience in healthcare and medical devices, “They bring a wealth of transferable knowledge from the medical devices sector, which will prove invaluable”, he announced.

Medtronic’s TYRX envelope cuts infections in cardiac implant patients

Medtronic has shared its results from its WRAP-IT clinical trial. The study evaluated its TYRX Absorbable Antibacterial Envelope in patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices. The Envelope is designed to stabilise devices after implantation, while releasing antimicrobial agents to reduce the risk of infection by 40 per cent. The clinical trial was conducted in 181 centres across North America, Europe, Asia and South America, and was successfully implanted in 99.7 per cent of procedures. Cardiac Rhythm and Heart Failure division Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Rob Kowal, Medtronic, said: “These data provide strong evidence that the TYRX envelope can help prevent major infection without increasing complications.”

Type 1 Diabetes: New Guidance For Flash Glucose Monitors

As of April 2019 the NHS will issue life-changing glucose monitors for some people with Type 1 diabetes. Thousands of patients will benefit from the new Flash Glucose Monitor and, in recognition of this, the NHS has published new clinical guidance ahead of the release. The guidance outlines the qualification requirements surrounding which patients can receive the technology, and it is expected that 1 in 5 patients with Type 1 diabetes will qualify. The new device will help these patients manage their symptoms by enabling them to determine whether their blood sugar levels are too high or low, reducing the use of finger-prick tests.

Stanford study finds Apple Watch can detect irregular heart rhythms

A study conducted by Stanford University revealed findings that indicated the Apple Watch could detect irregular heart rhythms. Though the study found that only 0.5 per cent of 400,000 participants received warnings of heart rhythm irregularities, physicians have verified that 84 per cent of detections were attributed to atrial fibrillation episodes. The app works by conducting periodic checks on the user’s heart rate with a sensor to track its rhythm.

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