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Joe Carlson

Reporter | Medical technology
phone: 612-673-4779
Joe Carlson writes about medical technology and the Minnesota companies that design and sell healthcare devices. A Twin Cities native, he most recently covered the business of healthcare for Modern Healthcare magazine in Chicago.
Recent content from Joe Carlson
Medtronic voluntarily sent out alerts in June.

Medtronic says thousands of heart devices need software upgrades

About 39,000 defibrillators and pacemakers are affected by what regulators have classified as a Class 2 recall.
Medtronic headquarters (Dreamstime/TNS)

Medtronic insulin pumps show promise for reducing hospitalizations

Early study results of 6,000 diabetic patients showed a drop in hospital visits.

Med-tech trade group takes aim at device tax

Media blitz aims to boost support for a repeal.
St. Jude Medical's Quadra Assura MP(TM) CRT-D

Cybersecurity upgrades eyed for 740,000 St. Jude-made defibrillators

Abbott advises patients to get updates at next scheduled doctor visit.
Robert Grathwol

Robert Grathwol, who helped many people battle alcoholism, dies at 62

Following tumult in the 1960s and '70s, Bob's sobriety in the 1980s became an example for others.
Boston Scientific is buying Cryterion Medical, owner of an invention that uses a burst of cold to the heart to treat atrial fibrillation, for $200 mil

Boston Scientific to pay $202 million to acquire Cryterion Medical

The California company is developing a treatment for atrial fibrillation.
Relievant Medsystems CEO Kevin Hykes shows the spot on the spine where energy is applied for certain forms of lower back pain.

Relievant Medsystems settles into Twin Cities, sees big promise for back treatment

CEO is setting up shop in Twin Cities, looking to grab part of $20 billion market.
Production technicians manufacture hematology controls at Bio-Techne. The company purchased Exosome Diagnostics for $250 million.

BioTechne snaps up Exosome Diagnostics in $250M deal

Mpls.-based firm pursuing Boston company's biopsy-free cancer detection tech.
The FreeStyle Libre is made by Abbott Laboratories.

Medtronic, Abbott push new diabetes monitoring systems

They both focus on round-the-clock monitoring of blood-sugar levels.
"The China market is perhaps going to be, at some time in the future, the biggest market in med-tech," Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak told investors in Nov

Prospect of China trade war sends chill through Minnesota med-tech

Vital Minn. industry sees potential for higher costs, job cuts if tariffs escalate.
Medibio’s mobile apps connect data from wearable devices with more subjective data like mood tracking and journaling.

Medibio developing apps to help detect early signs of mental illness

Medibio, which has its U.S. headquarters in Savage, is developing apps to diagnose mental-health problems.
Boston Scientific shares are up sharply today on a report that Stryker is considering an acquisition offer for the medical-device maker, which has a s

Boston Scientific shares jump on report of possible takeover

A report of a takeover bid by Stryker med-tech firm pushed shares way up.
3M's Bair Hugger patient warming system is depicted in a company provided image.

Plaintiffs vow to push on in 3M Bair Hugger litigation

They vow to appeal company's victory in key Bair Hugger case.
Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak

Medtronic outlines growth plans at New York investor conference

Executives see mix of innovation, lean manufacturing to hit 4 percent annual growth target.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is one of the world’s biggest public health problems.

After setback, a new technique to treat hypertension shows promise

After a design change, Medtronic device reports some initial success.
Medtronic sign

FDA issues recall alert for Medtronic device that fights heart failure

A power-switching problem can be deadly, according to FDA notice.
'Bad Blood' reveals fraud in the name of better health care at Theranos

'Bad Blood' reveals fraud in the name of better health care at Theranos

NONFICTION: A Wall Street Journal reporter exposes lies at health care company Theranos.
3M's Bair Hugger patient warming system is depicted in a company provided image.

Jury sides with 3M in trial over patient-warming device

Outcome could affect thousands of other cases that involve the device.
Simulation faults 3M's Bair Hugger device in surgical infection trial

Simulation faults 3M's Bair Hugger device in surgical infection trial

Bair Hugger alleged to contribute to infection; 3M lawyers disagreed.
Medtronic beat investors expectations with its latest quarterly performance.

Medtronic net income up nearly 6 percent, beating analysts' projections

Strong sales of next-generation insulin pumps for diabetes helped Medtronic PLC surpass investors’ expectations for its latest quarterly results, sending the company’s stock up 2…
Medtronic reported progress in a trial of a treatment for high blood pressure called "renal denervation."

Medtronic reports promising results with new blood-pressure therapy

"Renal denervation" uses radio-frequency energy in arteries.
A look at the Bair Hugger blanket in action.

3M's patient warming device goes on trial in Minneapolis

The Bair Hugger, a widely used patient warming system from 3M Co., takes center stage in a federal trial scheduled to begin Monday that could affect thousands of patients who came down with serious joint infections after surgery.
Ellie Nadeau tried on her brace after Kristin Smith, a certified orthotist with Gillette Children’s in Burnsville, made some small adjustments durin

Gillette Children's shapes kids' bones for a healthy life

Gillette Children's strives for a perfect fit in creating custom devices for young patients.
Stock analyst Mike Weinstein has been named the No. 2 in finance at Medtronic. Weinstein will report to CFO Karen Parkhill, who came to Medtronic abou

Medtronic selects former analyst for senior finance post

The company believes Michael Weinstein will bring a new perspective to company's strategies.
Inspire Medical Systems Chairwoman Marilyn Nelson rings a ceremonial bell, as Company President & CEO Tim Herbert looks on, when their IPO begins trad

Inspire Medical stock rises 56 percent in debut

The company raised $108 million in its initial public offering, the second biggest for Minnesota in the past year.
Omar Ishrak, chairman and chief executive, Medtronic PLC, on guaranteeing job growth in Medtronic’s Minnesota operation: “We promised 1,000 [more

Medtronic CEO on leadless pacemakers, hometown jobs

The work that Medtronic is doing today stems directly from its co-founder's bold thinking in business and pacemaker engineering, Omar Ishrak says.
Experts gather in Twin Cities to discuss protecting medical targets from hackers

Experts gather in Twin Cities to discuss protecting medical targets from hackers

Cybersecurity experts look for best practices to thwart unauthorized access.
Strong sales of slender surgical tools and urology devices led to a double-digit percentage gain in first-quarter profit at Boston Scientific.

Boston Scientific beats estimates in first quarter, increases 2018 guidance

Company said it plans to resolve lawsuits, IRS disputes later this year.
Bruce Nawrocki, who served 48 years as an elected official in Columbia Heights, including 22 as mayor, has died at age 86. Never one to quit, Nawrocki

Civic leader was heart and soul of a young Columbia Heights

Columbia Heights is an inner-ring suburban city of 20,158 people at the southernmost tip of Anoka County. The Heights has been a city for 96…

Urotronic gets OK for advanced trial to treat narrowed urethras

The company hopes that showing the device is effective in treating urethral strictures will lead to FDA approval.

Heart devices help Abbott Labs beat earnings estimates

Concern over organic sales growth sends the shares down in early trading

Medtronic CEO touts rapid pace of industry innovation

Medtronic CEO touts continual investment in innovation.
Boston Scientific acquired the California startup nVision, which owns the rights to a microcatheter device that regulatory clearance in the U.S. to ac

Boston Scientific buys nVision Medical in $275M deal

The $275M deal gives the device maker products to aid women's health.

To get paid, device makers must show return on investment

Modern health care is pushing makers to think about reimbursement as part of the creation process.

Sleep apnea device maker Inspire Medical files for IPO

Firm touts $10B market for its sleep apnea device.
Medtronic corporate campus

Medtronic studies device aimed at lowering high blood pressure

Medtronic aims to lower hypertension with procedure, not drugs.
The Fifth Street Towers lobby (JOHN REINAN/Star Tribune file photo)

Maker of Miracle-Ear brand moving to downtown Minneapolis

Amplifon will move its U.S. offices from Plymouth to the Fifth Street Towers.
Dr. Laura Mauri has been named vice president of global clinical research and analytics at Medtronic PLC. She will be based in Boston.

Medtronic taps Boston cardiologist for research and analytics VP post

Dr. Laura Mauri will start to transition into the new job in June, and will fully assume the role on Sept. 1.
Rebiotix, based in Roseville, is close to gaining approval for an innovative drug that treats infections using microbes from the human gut.

Roseville-based Rebiotix sold to Swiss drugmaker Ferring Pharmaceuticals

Ferring says it plans few changes at flourishing Roseville company

Vyaire Medical closing plant in Plymouth; 50 jobs affected

Respiratory medical device maker Vyaire Medical plans to close its plant in Plymouth by June 30, eliminating approximately 50 jobs, according to state officials.
The Mayo Clinic

Early clinical trials not always reliable, Mayo researchers find

Researchers found that a surprising number of the earliest studies on treatments for chronic conditions presented exaggerated results.

Appeals court panel revives suit faulting Medtronic drug pump in patient death

Dead patient's mom wins rare appeal in suit over Medtronic's drug pump.
Boston Scientific’s Rhythmia system helps create a map during procedures for heart-rhythm problems like atrial fibrillation.

Boston Scientific heart-mapping system shows promise in trial

The system creates cardiac maps that can help guide procedures.
Model of the Monteris Neuro­Blate, a medical device intended to burn away lesions in the brain.

FDA issues Class I recall for Minnesota-made brain probe

Regulators say Monteris hasn't sufficiently addressed safety concerns raised last year.
NxThera President Bob Paulson, shown operating a urological treatment device.

Boston Sci to acquire Maple Grove-based NxThera in $300M deal

Potential $406M deal includes NxThera's promising and novel prostate treatment system, Rezum.
Hospitals failed to report about $4.4 million in warranty payments that should have been directed to Medicare, an inspection found.

Report: Hospitals failed to pass along millions in credits to Medicare

Inspector general's report said $4.4M should have been sent to Medicare.
3M headquarters

3M recalls ankle braces and supports due to latex

FDA said products could contain undeclared latex, resulting in an unintended allergic reaction.
Congentix Medical president and CEO Darin Hammers.

Cogentix Medical agrees to be sold for $239 million

The Minnetonka medical device maker will keep its ties to state as part of Canada's Laborie Medical Technology.
HeartMate 3 left ventricular assist device (LVAD), a new implantable heart pump.

Abbott's HeartMate 3 pump shows improved results in clinical trial

HeartMate 3 performed better in clinical test than Abbott's older device.
The portable Medtronic CareLink 2090 Programmer.

Hackers take aim at common medical devices

Companies say patients not in danger while pledging vigilance.
Abbott Labs’ 15-millimeter heart valve is partly manufactured in Little Canada.

Pediatric heart valve invented by St. Jude Medical OK'd by FDA

Device was invented by St. Jude Medical, which is now part of Abbott Labs.
The Medtronic CareLink 2090 Programmer is used to program and manage cardiac devices in a clinic and during an implant.

Medtronic criticized for lax response to hacking vulnerability

Company admits to slow reaction to device flaw but says patients weren't at risk.
From the left, Theresa Finn, CEO of Mako International LLC, U.S. Olympian Tom Malchow and Mako COO David Burns. They held Hammer Head Swim Caps.

The Hammer Head swim cap offers swimmers a collision cushion

A Minnesota company has developed a souped-up swim cap that offers competitive swimmers protection in a collision.

Medtronic, Lehigh Valley Health Network partner on care issues

Unique collaboration with Pa. health network could improve care, reduce costs.

Abbott Labs to distribute Surmodics' drug-coated balloon device

Investors sent shares of Surmodics up nearly 10 percent on news of the pact.
Michael Sadowsky, a microbiologist, was photographed with a with a genetic sequencing machine and a graphic representation of the genetic composition

Minnesota researchers help unlock 'gut science' cures

The Twin Cities area is emerging as a major player in what could become a multibillion dollar industry.

Medtronic gets OK to sell glucose monitor, small stent

Glucose monitor can be worn on the upper arm.
Ebenezer Care Center resident Sol Sepulveda, 64, watched scenes of nature and people playing at the beach in virtual reality.

VR helps seniors cope with depression, anxiety, Minneapolis center finds

A test program has yielded promising results at Ebenezer Care Center.

Feds sue Patterson Cos., alleging discounts denied to small dental offices

FTC says bulk discounts denied to buying groups for small dental firms; Patterson says the suit is "meritless."
3M recalls some Bair Hugger underbody warming blankets

3M recalls some Bair Hugger underbody warming blankets

The recall affects 33,000 cases that contain blankets with a design that makes them susceptible to an airflow blockage.
Rebiotix technicians create samples for DNA extraction.

How's your gut bacteria? Minnesota-based Rebiotix unveils new system to measure microbiome changes

Roseville-based Rebiotix says new measurements can help against "C. diff."
Precision Lens says it will fight federal allegations of using illegal incentives

Precision Lens says it will fight federal allegations of using illegal incentives

The U.S. attorney's office accuses the Bloomington firm of providing expensive hunting trips and other payments to doctors who might use its products.
Infuse is a complex product with a complicated legal history.

Judge allows class-action suit over Medtronic's Infuse product to proceed

Plaintiffs allege Medtronic paid doctors to conceal problems; company vows to fight case.
Sales of endoscopes and pain-fighting neuromodulation devices helped drive profits higher for Boston Scientific.

Boston Scientific meets earnings expectations, sees stronger 2018 sales

The company said all divisions posted sales growth in the last quarter.
Troy Quenemoen

Troy Quenemoen, Roosevelt girls softball coach, dies at 52

During a tumultuous childhood in western Minnesota, Troy Quenemoen immersed himself in the world of comic books, where obstacles are always overcome and individual acts…
Rhonda Robb.

Cardiovascular Systems hires Medtronic executive as its new COO

Rhonda Robb will be COO at medical device maker in New Brighton.

Study finds bigger window of time for treating major stroke victims

Removing clots up to 16 hours after the stroke can be effective, researchers have found.

St. Jude Medical delivers sales growth for Abbott Labs

Sales growth generated by the Little Canada device maker carried through 2017.

Defunct Empi accused over overbilling military health care program

Owners of the Shoreview medical device company pay $7.6M to settle case.

Surmodics gets FDA approval for Telemark microcatheter

The device is used to treat vessels that are blocked with calcified plaque.
Congentix CEO Darin Hammers said a nasty proxy fight nearly sank the newly merged firm, but now “we’re a roughly $60 million public medical device

Once dogged by boardroom drama, Cogentix game plan finds traction

Increased demand for urology treatment is raising expectations at the device firm.
FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2005, the "Rising Man" symbol stands in front of the Fridley, Minn., based Medtronic.

Judge dismisses fraud suit against Medtronic

Lawsuit claimed devicemaker defrauded the federal government.
Medtronic’s SynchroMed II implantable pump for chronic pain and spasticity delivers a continuous low drug dosage.

Boston Scientific, Medtronic tout trial data supporting use of neuromodulation devices

The companies announced the data as an industry conference gathered this week in Las Vegas.

Federal judge dismisses shareholder suit against Cardiovascular Systems

Judge cites lack of evidence showing investors were deliberately misled.

Medical device companies brace for return of Affordable Care Act tax

Unless Congress acts, the ACA measure will return this month after a reprieve.
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