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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
Effort to improve tracking of medical devices divides industry, consumer groups

Effort to improve tracking of medical devices divides industry, consumer groups

In March 2015, Target Corp. alerted customers to throw out certain 10-ounce bags of organic chopped spinach because they were potentially contaminated with listeria bacteria,…
Medtronic alliance looks to expand use of home-monitoring devices

Medtronic alliance looks to expand use of home-monitoring devices

Medtronic's latest deal was another step in expanding the use of home-monitoring devices as it tries to cater to patients

AdvaMed turns to White House to intervene in stent price cap dispute with India

Trade group says device price cap dispute is "existential threat."

Medtronic says its Santa Rosa buildings still standing

A spokesman for the device maker said it hasn't been able to access the facilities to assess damage.
Medtronic evacuates California facilities because of wildfires

Medtronic evacuates California facilities because of wildfires

Medtronic ordered its employees at Santa Rosa device facilities to leave.
Med-tech firms eager to restart production in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

Med-tech firms eager to restart production in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

About 23 medical device companies including Medtronic and Boston Scientific have facilities on the island, including manufacturing sites that churn out everything from pacemakers to trauma-surgery products.

EnteroMedics plans move to California after acquisition

The maker of implantable medical devices for weight loss will keep a Minnesota office.
Legislators gather new ideas for pain treatment from Minnesota firms

Legislators gather new ideas for pain treatment from Minnesota firms

Public hearings on the opioid crisis are expected to take place at the State Capitol just after the start of the new year.
Minn. medical companies work on alternatives for opioid drugs

Minn. medical companies work on alternatives for opioid drugs

If the world wants alternatives to habit-forming opioid drugs for pain, it can look to Minnesota for answers.
FDA tells hospitals that surgical warming blankets OK for use

FDA tells hospitals that surgical warming blankets OK for use

The Bair Hugger blanket is the target of lawsuits, but the FDA said it has found no evidence that such devices cause infections.
Post-Maria, med-tech firms in Puerto Rico work to track down workers

Post-Maria, med-tech firms in Puerto Rico work to track down workers

Locating workers, assessing damage among first challenges in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.
Abbott Labs gets FDA approval for MRI-friendly defibrillator

Abbott Labs gets FDA approval for MRI-friendly defibrillator

After acquiring St. Jude, it lost defibrillator market share to Medtronic and Boston Scientific.
Hurricane Maria forces Medtronic to close Puerto Rico manufacturing plants

Hurricane Maria forces Medtronic to close Puerto Rico manufacturing plants

Many major device companies have manufacturing operations in path of Maria.

Lawsuit seeks damages for faulty batteries in St. Jude defibrillators

The federal lawsuit alleges that St. Jude knew more than 250,000 defibrillators it sold in the United States between 2011 and October 2016 contained batteries that could abruptly short out.

Smiths Medical confirms drug pump vulnerable to cyberhacking

Firm is latest device maker to acknowledges problems; no hacking reports yet received.
Medtronic rolls out latest device to treat pain with electricity

Medtronic rolls out latest device to treat pain with electricity

The device delivers mild current to spine that disrupts pain signals before they can travel to the brain.The company said it can be securely controlled with a Samsung tablet.
Mayo Clinic offers first aid assistance via Amazon's Alexa digital assistant

Mayo Clinic offers first aid assistance via Amazon's Alexa digital assistant

Mayo Clinic, Amazon team up to form a new voice-activated system for dispensing reliable medical advice at home.
Mayo testing Kardia Mobile device that detects irregular heartbeats

Mayo testing Kardia Mobile device that detects irregular heartbeats

  Bob Hauser is fun at dinner parties. He entertains, he tells old stories, and occasionally the retired cardiologist will diagnose a friend’s atrial fibrillation…
Abbott pulls the plug on once promising Absorb stent

Abbott pulls the plug on once promising Absorb stent

The decision to halt sales comes after Boston Scientific backed away from developing a rival product.
Medtronic announced new clinical tests of Infuse bone-growth product

Medtronic announced new clinical tests of Infuse bone-growth product

Firm wants data on best dosage of controversial bone-growth product.

Medtronic accelerates investment in robotic surgery firm Mazor

Device maker is exclusive distributor for Mazor's robotics spine systems.
Medtronic reports upbeat early results from blood pressure trial

Medtronic reports upbeat early results from blood pressure trial

Six years after paying $800 million to acquire a startup company that made a medical device to lower high blood pressure, Medtronic this week presented…

Abbott Labs rolls out patch for St. Jude-made pacemakers

The move occurs after an FDA-confirmed report about devices being vulnerable to hackers.
Abbott gets approval to sell new pump to treat heart failure

Abbott gets approval to sell new pump to treat heart failure

The HeartMate 3 device is among key products in the St. Jude Medical portfolio.
FDA to crack down on 'unscrupulous' stem cell clinics

FDA to crack down on 'unscrupulous' stem cell clinics

The FDA promised a nationwide crackdown on "unscrupulous" stem cell clinics, following years of reports that some clinics have offered lofty claims of potential medical benefits with scant, if any, medical evidence.
Growth in diabetes products lags, but Medtronic earnings solid

Growth in diabetes products lags, but Medtronic earnings solid

A computer outage trimmed sales during quarter, but CEO Omar Ishrak said the system is now working normally.
Roseville-based Rebiotix in race to develop therapy for deadly intestinal infection

Roseville-based Rebiotix in race to develop therapy for deadly intestinal infection

Roseville-based Rebiotix launched a clinical trial this month to test its treatment for C. diff infections.

Shareholder suit over Medtronic-Covidien deal still in play, court rules

State high court gives OK for shareholders to proceed.

Mayo prevails in patent case, but legal fight isn't over

Judge ruled the test results are products of the laws of nature, can't be patented.

Osprey Medical raises $26M, plans to expand sales force

Minnetonka-based Osprey Medical has raised about $26 million to bolster its U.S. sales force and ramp up efforts to sell medical devices that reduce the…

Aum Cardiovascular gets OK to sell heart monitoring device

The device can provide data on heart performance in about 20 minutes at a cost of $100 or less.
U bioethicist takes on clinics touting stem-cell studies

U bioethicist takes on clinics touting stem-cell studies

With a national debate raging, Leigh Turner has taken center stage in questioning whether many of these services are legitimate.
Miromatrix has high hopes for its bioengineered liver

Miromatrix has high hopes for its bioengineered liver

Miromatrix is developing a process that transforms pig livers for use in humans through "reseeding" a white collagen shell.

Medtronic closes on $6.1 billion sale of supply lines to Cardinal Health

The previously announced deal involves lower-margin products widely used in hospitals.
Boston Scientific pulls away from dissolvable stents

Boston Scientific pulls away from dissolvable stents

Although the company said the concept shows promise, it's opted to pursue other priorities.
Boston Scientific to seek U.S. approval of troubled valve system by year's end

Boston Scientific to seek U.S. approval of troubled valve system by year's end

Medical surgical supply sales offset slower growth in implantable devices, the company reported.
Twin Cities-based Pops! Diabetes Care teams with Children's Minnesota to test diabetes device

Twin Cities-based Pops! Diabetes Care teams with Children's Minnesota to test diabetes device

"Pops! one" would allow for glucose-level testing on the go, with just a tiny stick.
Abbott Labs med-device sales grow as St. Jude device sales rebuild

Abbott Labs med-device sales grow as St. Jude device sales rebuild

The two were working together months before the nearly $30B sale was finalized in January.
Medtronic shares dip as CFO signals revenue hit from computer failure

Medtronic shares dip as CFO signals revenue hit from computer failure

Profit still expected to hit low end of forecast for the May-through-July period.
Mayo joint venture looks for new uses for drug molecules

Mayo joint venture looks for new uses for drug molecules

Focus will be on new therapies for rare illnesses.
U.S. House passes bill to lengthen time to report medical device malfunctions

U.S. House passes bill to lengthen time to report medical device malfunctions

U.S. House measure would allow more time for them to be sent to the FDA.

Entellus Medical expects revenue bounce from nasal deal

Acquisition of Spirox could bolster its growth this year by 8 percentage points.
Stemonix looks to eliminate 'guinea pig medicine'

Stemonix looks to eliminate 'guinea pig medicine'

Stemonix products allow doctors to see how drugs and human cells react without risking a person's health.
Sunday conversation with Laura Brod, CEO of RoverMed BioSciences

Sunday conversation with Laura Brod, CEO of RoverMed BioSciences

Laura Brod has trod an unusual path into biotech, so perhaps it's not surprising that the company she leads is charting an unorthodox route.
Medtronic nears resolution of its Infuse lawsuits

Medtronic nears resolution of its Infuse lawsuits

Medtronic did not release figures for the confidential settlements. The company reported that it set aside $300 million for all of its legal settlements in the fiscal year that ended in April, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Medtronic says computer system has been restored

Medtronic computers had been out for a full week, disrupting operations.
Blue Cross, Children's Minnesota make pitches to public as deadline nears

Blue Cross, Children's Minnesota make pitches to public as deadline nears

Costs would spike for 66,000 if Children's and Blue Cross can't agree.
Reaching deep into the brain to treat strokes

Reaching deep into the brain to treat strokes

Minnesota is a big player in the growing market for tools that are less invasive.

Recall of Vascular Solutions catheters is declared Class 1

No patient harm reported from products made by Minn.'s Vascular Solutions.
Computer outage disrupts Medtronic's operations

Computer outage disrupts Medtronic's operations

A global computer outage has hurt Medtronic's ability to fulfill orders.

No deal yet in standoff between Blue Cross and Children's Minnesota

Blue Cross customers will not be covered there if no deal is reached by July 5.

Eden Prairie-based Key Surgical merges with German rival

Eden Prairie company, new partner to have a catalog of 7,000 products based in Twin Cities.

Man shot near Capitol in St. Paul

Incident happened hours after dueling protests over Islam.
Medtronic's Tyrx envelopes aimed at reducing heart device infections

Medtronic's Tyrx envelopes aimed at reducing heart device infections

In a push to increase use of its Tyrx envelope, company vows to share replacement cost should an infection set in.
HCMC neurosurgeon gets a read on brain function

HCMC neurosurgeon gets a read on brain function

Dr. Uzma Samadani is nearing a way to assess functions in real time.
Med-tech industry watching battle over stent prices in India

Med-tech industry watching battle over stent prices in India

India's government has ordered a big price cut; device firms are threatening to leave.
RxFunction aims to help patients with peripheral neuropathy get back on their feet

RxFunction aims to help patients with peripheral neuropathy get back on their feet

A Minneapolis firm's device is designed to help people sidelined with nerve damage regain the ability to walk
Medtronic beats estimates, then draws shrug with earnings outlook

Medtronic beats estimates, then draws shrug with earnings outlook

The medical device giant's guidance for year ahead is viewed by some as conservative.
26 patients die after upgrading Abbott blood pump at home

26 patients die after upgrading Abbott blood pump at home

The deaths occurred after patients tried to perform routine maintenance on their HeartMate II blood pump, made by the former St. Jude Medical. A "recall" notice urges that the upgrades be done in a clinic or hospital.
In wake of WannaCry, medical industry prepares for better response to next cyber attack

In wake of WannaCry, medical industry prepares for better response to next cyber attack

Hospital and medical device experts say well-meaning agencies did not coordinate attempts to provide — or always provide the most useful — information.

Cybersecurity experts gather to try to prevent future attacks like WannaCry

Experts will look to make recommendations to protect medical devices.

Acist study finds positive results of its Navvus MicroCatheter device

Patients with complex cardiac cases may benefit most from Acist Medical Systems device.
Boston Scientific study results raise prospect for new competition in heart-valve market

Boston Scientific study results raise prospect for new competition in heart-valve market

The trial between Boston Scientific and Medtronic minimally-invasive valves hints at a more competitive market.

No Minnesota hospitals hit by 'WannaCry' cyberattack, but experts warn of vulnerabilities

Minnesota's IT experts had a tense and busy weekend.
Muddy Waters takes to Twitter in latest dispute with Abbott Labs

Muddy Waters takes to Twitter in latest dispute with Abbott Labs

Self-described whistleblower Muddy Waters accuses firm of trying to silence its critics.
Study on Medtronic Reveal shows promising results in preventing deadly strokes

Study on Medtronic Reveal shows promising results in preventing deadly strokes

Medtronic implant detects atrial fibrillation in high-risk patients.
Medtronic, Boston Scientific release positive 'real world' study results

Medtronic, Boston Scientific release positive 'real world' study results

The companies presented the results on heart devices at a Chicago conference.

Medical device executive pleads guilty to stealing trade secrets

Christopher M. Barry took design files to his new company when he left Lutonix.
Abbott's Infinity Deep Brain Stimulation System is rare technology advance

Abbott's Infinity Deep Brain Stimulation System is rare technology advance

Abbott's stimulation system can be controlled with an iPod, and is seen as the first big advancement in the U.S. in 20 years

Caisson Interventional sold to London firm as heart-valve race revs up

After investing in the Maple Grove heart valve company in 2012, LivaNova is buying the company.
Eden Prairie company hopes to improve heart screens for teens

Eden Prairie company hopes to improve heart screens for teens

PraeVeni is working to implement what it calls a new test to accurately rule out the 10 most common heart problems for a fraction of the typical $4,000-plus cost of screening.
Abbott faces more fallout over patients implanted with faulty St. Jude device

Abbott faces more fallout over patients implanted with faulty St. Jude device

Recent FDA warning over seven patients implanted after recall could be a PR "black eye" for Abbott.
FDA sends St. Jude a warning over two high-profile device issues

FDA sends St. Jude a warning over two high-profile device issues

The company was faulted for failing to investigate defibrillator battery problems and cybersecurity shortcomings.

Biomedical convention explores 'what's next'

Mpls. hosted meeting to show off a brave new biotech world.
Medtronic says it is recalling StrataMR valve

Medtronic says it is recalling StrataMR valve

Valve was approved for use less than a year ago.
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