LONDON – Quanta Dialysis Technologies Ltd. has raised £38 million (US$46.7 million) in the first close of a series C round, to fund a U.S. FDA 510(k) submission and U.K. commercial launch of its SC+ home hemodialysis system. With the cash now in hand, both these events are due to occur before the end of 2019. "We've got a lot of work to do," said John Milad, CEO of Quanta. "This is the rocket fuel."
Two pieces of legislation of interest to the med-tech industry are making the rounds in Washington. One would require that online sales of contact lenses be accompanied only by a prescription, and the other would bolster telehealth services for methamphetamine addiction in rural areas, where the narcotic's epidemic has taken much of its toll. The bills arrive as other developments suggest an improved environment for contact lenses and telemedicine, auguring a better market for both in the months and years ahead.
KARACHI, Pakistan – Pakistan is running short of women doctors. That's not due to a lack of medical education facilities – 70% of all medical students are women – but because many of them leave midway through their careers. The Muslim-majority country now is looking to new medical technologies and telemedicine to address this issue. One startup that launched in 2017, Sehat Kahani, is relying on telemedicine to expand the reach of health care by, in large part, tapping into this pool of medical talent.
NEW ORLEANS – The Apple Heart study has accumulated data from more than 400,000 participants in its evaluation of the ability of an algorithm to detect abnormalities that may be indicative of atrial fibrillation (AF), although the enrollment came up short of the target of half a million users. Nonetheless, Mintu Turakhia, a cardiologist at Stanford, Calif.-based Stanford University, said that while the study has some significant limitations, "we now have a footprint for evaluating technology such as this, and how to do this in an appropriate and scalable way."
CLEVELAND – How are telemedicine and wearable technologies changing health care and how physicians see patients? That question was the focus of a panel that examined how such emerging technology can play a role in improving primary care. The panel took place during the Cleveland Clinic's 2018 Medical Innovation Summit and was part of the a series of discussions on how technologies, including digital health, are disrupting health care.
The draft Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) is always an event for makers of drugs and devices, and this year is no exception. This time, the draft proposes non-controversially to formalize the specialty practice of heart failure and transplant cardiology, a move that was anticipated. While telehealth would enjoy a renewal of momentum under the terms of the draft, novel oncology drugs would be reimbursed at the wholesale acquisition cost plus 1.35 percent, a considerable shave from the current standard of WAC+6.
Medicare coverage of telehealth, which is critical for many patients with implanted cardiac electrophysiology devices, has been slow in coming, but a new report on Medicare payments for telehealth recommends that the CMS review paid claims to claw back some instances of overpayment, which would constitute yet another example of the pay-and-chase paradigm that has drawn criticism in the past.