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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
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, ups 2018 guidance

The company was helped by balanced growth across its business units.
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.
Medtronic’s SynchroMed II drug pump treats chronic pain. Problems with the device have been corrected.

Medtronic's pain pump redesign OK'd by FDA

Problems with earlier version had led to restrictions by FDA.

Boston Scientific gets lift on preliminary Q4 revenue

Preliminary revenue was up about 10 percent from last year.
The Bair Hugger warming system uses forced air to warm patients before and during surgery.

Ramsey County judge dismisses suits alleging 3M warming device caused infections

Ruling on 3M product doesn't affect some 4,000 similar suits pending in federal court.
Medtronic has long denied allegations about marketing for Infuse.

Supreme Court declines to hear case challenging Medtronic officials on Infuse for a second time

Litigant said shareholders were harmed financially by Medtronic's actions.

Eden Prairie-based Metavention gets $65 million to test diabetes treatment

Medical device firm will study new treatment option for type 2 diabetes.

Bio-Techne buys Atlanta Biologicals in cash deal

Minneapolis-based Bio-Techne Corp., which makes biological supplies and machines used in research by the pharmaceutical industry, has acquired a small firm in Georgia called Atlanta…

Chinese regulators clear way for Medtronic-backed pacemaker

Approval clears way for sale of pacemaker made by company's China-based partner.

Minnetonka maker of apnea device raises nearly $60 million from investors

Minnetonka-based firm touts $58.5 million boost.
Dr. Jerrold Vitek, the U’s neurology chief, holds a Boston Scientific deep brain stimulator for treatment of Parkinson’s.

Vercise is designed to more precisely target deep-brain stimulation

The Vercise system aims to minimize negative side effects of DBS therapy
Coon Rapids resident John Bottko undergoes testing of the small implantable heart monitor that was implanted in him to look for signs of an irregular

New implantable heart monitor shares data with patient's smartphone

John Bottko doesn’t want to have a heart defibrillator implanted in his chest — he doesn’t want the pain of surgery, and he definitely doesn’t…
Judge rules 3M Bair Hugger plaintiffs can present disputed expert witnesses

Judge rules 3M Bair Hugger plaintiffs can present disputed expert witnesses

Thousands of plaintiffs are suing 3M as part of a federal Multi District Litigation centralized in Minnesota.
In addition to the agreement announced Wednesday, more than 6,000 patient lawsuits and potential lawsuits are still pending against Medtronic relating

Medtronic to pay $12M to settle charges it misled doctors, patients to spur Infuse sales

The device maker continues to deny allegations made by states, which include using misleading data to drive Infuse sales.
CVS Health’s $69 billion acquisition of the insurer Aetna is designed to create new ways for the company to deliver care to consumers through its re

Health care megamergers are aiming to revamp how care is delivered

UnitedHealth Group, Aetna and CVS Health attempt to revamp who does what in delivering health care.
Dr. Ted Truitt performed sinus surgery in 2008 and talked to the patientduring the procedure. Entellus Medical and Truitt developed the sinus operatio

Stryker to buy Plymouth-based Entellus Medical for $662 million

It's unclear how the deal would affect the 280 workers employed by the maker of products to treat sinus problems.
Optum, the data and health services unit of UnitedHealth Group, is expanding its reach to patients through the proposed $4.9 billion acquisition of di

UnitedHealth acquiring DaVita Medical Group for $4.9B

The deal includes medical staff of 2,000 and further blurs insurance, provider line.
The Apple Watch Series 3. ORG XMIT: MIN1711010333000686

Clinical trial puts Apple Watch's heart monitoring prowess to the test

Along with tracking a wearer's workout, company hopes to show its watch can effectively detect atrial fibrillation.
CVS Health has agreed to buy Aetna in a $69 billion deal.

Allina doesn't see CVS deal upending its venture with Aetna

Company sees no concern for its own Aetna venture.

Should Minnesota company suing former employees pay legal fees? High court to decide

At issue is whether CorVascular should pay defense expenses for the former employees it is suing.
Problems with the delivery system of the Lotus transcatheter aortic heart valve replacement system have hit Boston Scientific stock hard in the past t

Boston Scientific takes hit as Lotus valve woes mount

Device maker said it is unclear when it will submit troubled system for U.S. approval.

UnitedHealth shares dip on mixed earnings outlook

UnitedHealth Group issued financial guidance late Monday that included a projected range for 2018 earnings that dipped below analysts expectations. Its shares fell about 1 percent in after-hours trading.
The IRS is trying to persuade federal judges to increase Medtronic’s taxable income by about $1.4 billion. Medtronic stands behind its accounting, a

Medtronic, IRS locked in high-stakes tax feud

With $1.4 billion in question, feud may have implications for industry.
Medtronic reported lower profit and sales in its fiscal second quarter due to the effects of natural disasters on production facilities in Puerto Rico

Medtronic weathers storms, posts better-than-expected revenue, earnings

Analysts believe the company can meet growth targets despite recent production headaches.
Abbott Laboratories’ Absorb bioresorbable stent.

India to review stent pricing caps that drew device-maker protest

Critics say cheaper stents have not added up to savings for patients.
Minnesota-run Medtronic has emerged as a major winner in the $1.7 billion U.S. market for insulin pumps and supplies.

Exit by Johnson & Johnson bolsters Medtronic's insulin pump dominance

Minnesota-run company has emerged as a major winner in the $1.7 billion U.S. market.

Senators back push for stepped up tracking of medical devices

Two U.S. senators are urging the agency that controls Medicare to support putting the full serial numbers for medical devices into insurance-claims forms to better track how poorly performing devices affect federal spending and patient health.

Medtronic indicates hurricane revenue hit less than feared

Medtronic lost as much as $65 million in revenue in the weeks following Hurricane Maria, which incapacitated the medical device maker’s four factories in Puerto…
June Haddow

June Haddow, whose spirit took her many places in life, dies at age 19

June Haddow had met someone special in Marseille. The couple had been cooking together, making art, going on lots of walks, spending time as young…
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