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Joe Carlson

Reporter | Medical technology
Phone: 612-673-4779
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Joe Carlson writes about medical technology in Minnesota for the Star Tribune.

Carlson has covered health care beats full time since 2008, including medical technology, not-for-profit providers and health care legal affairs. His stories tend to blend health care business affairs and patient-focused information.
Recent content from Joe Carlson
Plan beneficiaries can earn up to $4 per day for meeting its goals. Those dollars can be used toward buying the Apple Watch, above.

UnitedHealthcare to feature Apple Watch in wellness plans

The company added the device in hopes of expanding participation.
FILE - This June 19, 2015 file photo shows the seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at SEC headquarters, in Washington. The Securities

Husband of UnitedHealth exec accused of snooping, insider trading to pay $140,000

James E. Hengen of Chanhassen allegedly peaked into his wife's work papers and made trades off the information. He is also accused of tipping off others.
Medtronic is launching a new test of a device approach to treat high blood pressure.

Medtronic launches new trial in effort to bring hypertension treatment to market

Devices are OK to sell in Europe, but approval in U.S. is elusive.

German company acquires St. Paul-based Evergreen Medical

Heraeus cited growth in neuromodulation as key in deal to pick up Evergreen Medical.
Boston Scientific Corp. has more employees in Minnesota than its home state of Massachusetts.

Boston Scientific beats earnings estimates, touts patent ruling

The company saw revenue increase nearly 9 percent in the third quarter.

Monteris Medical gets FDA OK for NeuroBlate laser probe

The new probe eliminates the risk of overheating during use with MRI scanner.
Earl Bakken, founder of Medtronic

Medtronic founder Earl Bakken has died in his Hawaii home

Earl Bakken invented the pacemaker in Minneapolis and started Medtronic in 1949.
The HeartMate 3 LVAD, made by Illinois-based Abbott Labs

HeartMate 3 gets FDA approval for extended use

Revamped Abbott Labs device is seen as an option for cardiac patients who are unlikely to get transplants.

Medtronic touts treatment to wean patients off pain pills

Medtronic implantable pump dispenses tiny doses of pain medication.
Abbott Labs' latest results were boosted by heart devices and other products the company acquired in its purchase of Minnesota-based St. Jude Medical.

Heart devices help Abbott Labs meet earnings expectations

After meeting Wall Street quarterly expectations, company looks to 2019.

Minneapolis startup Cardialen raises $17 million in venture capital

The Minneapolis company is developing a new type of defibrillation device.

Summit in Minneapolis ponders the future of health care

Big-name speakers, large crowd gather at first Manova Global Summit on the Future of Health to think about innovation.

Lite Run wins innovation award for 'spacesuit' pants

The device helps people walk normally after stroke or injury.
Danish firm GN Hearing, with operations in Bloomington, makes customized in-the-ear hearing aids and also traditional behind-the-ear devices.

GN Hearing hopes to connect Android phones and hearing aids

GN Hearing is working with Google to adapt its devices to communicate seamlessly with Android smartphones.
The Imris Surgical Theater, a customized neurosurgery suite, will now exclusively use certain MRI and CT imaging equipment made by German med-tech gia

Minnetonka-based Imris strikes collaboration deal with Siemens

Imaging giant will complement Imris' design of surgical suites.

Patterson Cos. among three dental suppliers to pay into $80M price-fixing settlement

Fee is St. Paul firm's share in a court settlement over price-fixing allegations against major dental suppliers.
UnitedHealth Group's OptumRx division for pharmacy services is combining operations with a large, privately backed behavioral-health pharmacy company

UnitedHealth's OptumRx to combine with pharmacy services firm in $2B deal

UnitedHealth has said that transforming pharmacy care services is a key goal it hopes to accomplish.
St. Paul-based Aria CV CEO John Scandurra took center stage to pitch his company’s idea during the Shark Tank Innovation Competition at the Transcat

Aria CV wins tops honors in device organizaton 'Shark Tank' competition

Startup is using University of Minnesota technology to develop a balloon device to treat pulmonary hypertension.
The MitraClip heart valve device made by Abbott Laboratories

Abbott gets boost from strong trial for MitraClip device

Valve trial showed patients less likely to end up in the hospital and had lower risk of death.
A peripheral stent made by Boston Scientific and designed in Maple Grove.

Boston Scientific, Medtronic tout stent trial results

Results were rolled out at an industry conference.
With its acquisition of Mazor Robotics, Medtronic hopes to tap into a global market for spinal surgery products that will grow as the population ages.

Medtronic bets big on benefits of robots in operating room

Using robotic-assisted equipment can improve precision, lessen complications.

FDA move could lead to broader use for Medtronic valve

A label change could expand the market for the device maker's CoreValve Evolut system.

Feds continue to monitor Medtronic plant in Puerto Rico linked to recall

Recalled ICD devices made at Puerto Rico facility had potential electrical flaws.
Julius C. Smith

Julius Smith, who played role in founding of Jonathan, dies at 88

As a lover of history, Jules Smith also was fascinated with the new, playing a key role in the founding of a first-of-its-kind community in…
From left to right are Kevin McInotsh, president and Marcus Super, director or marketing & sales at Summit Medical, headquartered in St. Paul, Minneso

Developed at the U, wiring jaws without the wires

Developed at the U, the jaw-fixation system uses less-invasive zip-ties that can be removed quickly and without surgery
This patient carries around a battery-powered and surgically implanted heart pump.

A prescription to fight hackers: FDA to bolster medical-device security

Industry, officials work to boost security of medical devices.
Minnetronix Medical’s manufacturing facility in St. Paul services more than 25 dedicated medical-device product lines for its various med-tech clien

Contract med-tech manufacturer Minnetronix to launch own device

The St. Paul firm is developing a product that removes contaminants in the cerebral spinal fluid after a hemorrhagic stroke.
Boston Scientific has been ramping up investments in men’s health in recent years, including in Minnesota.

Boston Scientific to pay up to $600M to acquire Augmenix

Sales of Augmenix's SpaceOAR hydrogel are projected to nearly double in the next year.
Mayo Clinic CEO John Noseworthy said shortages of essential generic drugs calls for a “mission-driven” collaboration among health systems like Civ

Mayo Clinic, other hospitals launching generic drug maker Civica Rx

The nonprofit will focus on older drugs that have become scarce and pricey.
Huge crowds seen at the Minnesota State Fair.

Saturday breaks all-time record for single-day fair attendance

The State Fair broke an all-time attendance record Saturday, with 270,426 people walking through its gates. Sunday's attendance figure wasn't immediately available, but by Monday, the fair could easily meet or even break its overall attendance record and hit the 2 million mark.
These are two images of an actual patient's liver, comparing an image from Resoundant's magnetic resonance elastrography, or MRE scan, on the left, wi

Mayo-backed Resoundant gains traction with tool to diagnose liver disease

As liver diseases grow, the noninvasive scan provides an alternative to a biopsy.
A Covidien logo sits on the glass windows of the office in Dublin, Ireland, that became the legal headquarters of Medtronic in its acquisition of that

Judge gives Medtronic shareholders another chance in lawsuit over Covidien deal

Class action's plaintiffs say executives knew $50 billion deal would cost shareholders.

Urotronic raises $20M to complete device trials, expand manufacturing

Plymouth-based medical technology startup Urotronic has raised $20 million in its effort to invent a better way to treat urethral problems.A joint venture of Hillhouse…
Boston Scientific Corp. is betting more than $100 million on a small California company with a product that’s not yet legal to sell in the United St

Boston Scientific, Medtronic fill venture funding gap for med-tech startups

By injecting money early in the game, they hope to groom the next big product.
Medtronic shares rose as the company's latest results beat analysts' expectations.

Medtronic handily beats Wall Street quarterly earnings forecasts

Medtronic's popular medical devices power strong quarterly results.
Medtronic’s EV ICD system delivers high-voltage shocks to restart the heart or re-establish normal rhythm without using wires that physically touch

Medtronic testing defibrillator that uses wires outside the heart, veins

Devices can reset heart rhythms without using wires in the heart.
A federal appeals court has tossed out a $1.4 billion Tax Court ruling favoring Medtronic in a dispute about the value of heart devices made in Puerto

Federal appeals court tosses out $1.4B tax ruling favorable to Medtronic

IRS officials say the company has shifted income on paper to lower its tax bill.
Medtronic corporate campus

Scrutiny continues as Medtronic acknowledges cybersecurity issues with its medical devices

Critics say company has been slow to act on medical devices' cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

BioSig gets approval for U.S. sales of surgery device

The device, to be made by St. Paul-based Minnetronix, gives doctors a clearer view of how a heart surgery is going.
Varshini Venkatesan in one of the many labs at Takeda in Brooklyn Park. The Japanese pharmaceutical company’s new 215,000-square-foot drug-manufactu

Takeda is banking on a SuperTarget-sized biologic plant in Brooklyn Park

Takeda hopes to begin making its Entyvio drug for bowel diseases at its Brooklyn Park plant next year
Dr. Christian Dameff, an emergency medicine doctor in San Diego and self-described hacker, speaks to an audience at Medtronic’s Mounds View campus a

At seminar, Medtronic employees told cybersecurity is a 'team sport'

Hackers a persistent threat to patient safety, demanding vigilance.
FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2005, the "Rising Man" symbol stands in front of Medtronic in Fridley.

In bid for diabetes market, Medtronic, among others, talking money

Focus is on long-term value, cost of pumps and monitors.
Boston Scientific said its second-quarter profit rose 28 percent.

Boston Scientific beats Q2 earnings expectations

Company maintained its financial guidance for year.
Medtronic sign

Medtronic agrees to pay $43M to settle investor lawsuit

The device maker denies the allegations made against Infuse product.

Boston Scientific to pay up to $270M to acquire Claret Medical

California firm makes device that aims to reduce post-operation strokes.

Abbott Labs sees big upside for its FreeStyle Libre glucose monitor

Strong growth for its diabetes unit was key to driving second quarter earnings that exceeded expectations.
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…
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