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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
Maple Grove start-up could save $600M in spending on dialysis-related infections

Maple Grove start-up could save $600M in spending on dialysis-related infections

A "simple" plastic cap made in Maple Grove could reduce the infection rate for patients.
Medtronic eliminating some Twin Cities jobs in favor of contractor

Medtronic eliminating some Twin Cities jobs in favor of contractor

Outside contractor hired to replace Columbia Heights jobs.

Panel: Patient-led movement is transforming medical research

The picture presented at a University of Minnesota event was of two scientific communities running in tandem: One is run by and for patients, focused on their immediate needs, while the other is comprised of big companies and research groups.
Medtronic in deal to help run labs in Cleveland medical center

Medtronic in deal to help run labs in Cleveland medical center

The pact with University Hospitals Cleveland medical Center is Medtronic's first integrated health solutions agreement in the U.S.
Medtronic stock down as its second-quarter revenue comes up short

Medtronic stock down as its second-quarter revenue comes up short

The company said it believes sales woes will be temporary as new products drive a recovery.

Boston Scientific closes on its purchase of EndoChoice

Boston is paying $210 million cash for the company, and says it's evaluating strategic options for one of EndoChoice's key products.
Inspire Medical Systems' sleep apnea treatment is showing good results

Inspire Medical Systems' sleep apnea treatment is showing good results

Maple Grove's Inspire Medical Systems uses an electric stimulator similar to a pacemaker to treat sleep apnea and snoring.
Medtronic CEO reaches out to workers after election

Medtronic CEO reaches out to workers after election

Omar Ishrak is among the leaders who assured employees of commitment to core values.

FDA hearing on off-labels use of devices explores risks to patients

The FDA is grappling with how far companies can go in touting uses that haven't been studied.
FDA urged to recognize need for exchange of info about unapproved uses of devices, drugs

FDA urged to recognize need for exchange of info about unapproved uses of devices, drugs

They want freer exchanges on unapproved uses; critics are leery.
Minneapolis cardiologist says red tape thwarts research to improve cardiac arrest treatments

Minneapolis cardiologist says red tape thwarts research to improve cardiac arrest treatments

Physician says that research is decreasing due to regulations.
Medtronic agrees to share data in patient-safety effort

Medtronic agrees to share data in patient-safety effort

The Patient Safety Movement Foundation was founded four years ago by Masimo CEO Joe Kiani.
Old versions of heart device implanted after battery problem known

Old versions of heart device implanted after battery problem known

Although St. Jude had fixed the problem in 2015 that led to a recall of the devices, the company kept selling its stock of older units.
Is there such a thing as a luxury stent? Boston Scientific thinks so

Is there such a thing as a luxury stent? Boston Scientific thinks so

A clinical trial has yet to show that its Synergy stent outperforms cheaper rivals, but device maker insists time will tell
Two additional patient deaths linked to Medtronic infusion pump

Two additional patient deaths linked to Medtronic infusion pump

The latest deaths follow more than a dozen problems with the implanted SynchroMed II.
St. Jude halts certain pacemaker implants over data issue

St. Jude halts certain pacemaker implants over data issue

Seven reports of lost telemetry and pacing output have been reported from the device maker's Nanostim leadless pacemaker.
Boston Scientific sales growth exceeds expectations as profits rise

Boston Scientific sales growth exceeds expectations as profits rise

The company said its medical-surgical group paced sales growth in the third quarter.
St. Jude, short-seller trade blame in cybersecurity case

St. Jude, short-seller trade blame in cybersecurity case

Filings in cybersecurity lawsuit come just before shareholders vote on the sale to Abbott.

FDA wants help to deal with misleading medical sales pitches

The agency wants examples of what the rules should be regarding medical products.
New cybersecurity allegations emerge as St. Jude Medical reports mixed quarterly results

New cybersecurity allegations emerge as St. Jude Medical reports mixed quarterly results

Sales of pacemakers and defibrillators fell, but overall revenue surged.
Medical firms are using Big Data for a common cause

Medical firms are using Big Data for a common cause

New thinking helps health firms control always-rising expenses.

FDA says cooperation is essential on cybersecurity

Agency says it wants to work with firms if hackers target medical hardware.
FDA rules allow device makers to keep injuries under wraps

FDA rules allow device makers to keep injuries under wraps

"Physicians might change their minds if they knew how many problems there really were," said a former FDA official who left the agency to found a search engine that tracks device performance.

Minneapolis medical conference will address why men and women are treated differently for heart attacks

Med-tech conference will look at treatment disparities for the sexes.

Soaring health care costs will bring Mayo, Medtronic, UnitedHealth together at Mpls. conference

As health care costs soar, industry will seek solutions.
St. Jude stock stable after heart device battery disclosure

St. Jude stock stable after heart device battery disclosure

Analysts see limited impact to revenue despite lingering questions.
St. Jude warns that batteries in up to 350K heart devices could fail

St. Jude warns that batteries in up to 350K heart devices could fail

Minnesota-based St. Jude Medical said today that nearly 350,000 defibrillators implanted in patients may be prone to short-circuiting in a way that causes the device to fail unexpectedly. Two deaths have been associated with the devices failing.
Facing criminal charges, former St. Jude executive seeks access to company files

Facing criminal charges, former St. Jude executive seeks access to company files

Bryan C. Szweda, who was an executive at St. Jude Medical before being charged last year with embezzling $140,000, wants to pry open his former…

Vascular Solutions recalls more than 15,000 catheters

The company said extra material might have been left inside some devices.
State's high court hears arguments in legal challenge to Medtronic-Covidien deal

State's high court hears arguments in legal challenge to Medtronic-Covidien deal

Shareholders say their tax hit was unfair, but the company argues state law doesn't allow them to pursue their case.

Audit: Medicare wastes billions on defective medical devices

The three firms that made the seven devices haven't been identified, so the implications for Minnesota firms are not clear.
Medical 21 is chasing a man-made blood vessel

Medical 21 is chasing a man-made blood vessel

Med-tech pioneer Manny VillafaƱa is continuing his quest for a blood vessel that could revolutionize coronary bypass surgery

Medtronic recalling heart pumps linked to patient death

Problems with the HVAD pump can happen when moisture interacts with its electronic components.
Medtronic gets FDA approval for automated insulin delivery device

Medtronic gets FDA approval for automated insulin delivery device

The latest version of the firm's MiniMed unit can learn, react to a patient's personal needs.
In key advance, U team builds blood vessel that grows with body

In key advance, U team builds blood vessel that grows with body

U team hopes device can replace defective arteries, eliminating the need for multiple surgeries.
Boston Scientific will pay $210M for endoscopy maker EndoChoice

Boston Scientific will pay $210M for endoscopy maker EndoChoice

The Georgia company reported sales of $72.3 million in 2015, up 18 percent from the previous year.
For medical device makers, return elusive for longer battery life

For medical device makers, return elusive for longer battery life

Patients would like units that don't need to be replaced as often, but a greater cost and size limit their value to manufacturers.
Who's holding the knife? Growing number of surgeons expected to use robotic tools

Who's holding the knife? Growing number of surgeons expected to use robotic tools

The market for robotic systems used in surgeries is expected to grow rapidly in coming years.
St. Jude Medical sues investment firm Muddy Waters over security allegation

St. Jude Medical sues investment firm Muddy Waters over security allegation

It alleges a short-seller and partners drove down stock with false claims.

So far, St. Jude Medical weathering cybersecurity scrutiny

A report saying its devices lacked needed safeguards has so far proved untrue.
St. Jude Medical fires back at short seller over device claims

St. Jude Medical fires back at short seller over device claims

Recent claims about hackers being able to remotely shut down pacemakers and defibrillators from St. Jude Medical don't appear supported by evidence offered so far, an independent analysis has found.
Short-seller publicizes video claiming to show a hack of St. Jude pacemaker

Short-seller publicizes video claiming to show a hack of St. Jude pacemaker

Muddy Waters raised the ante in its bid to devalue St. Jude's stock.

FDA joins investigation into security of St. Jude medical devices

Trading of the company's stock was briefly halted Friday afternoon.
Aug. 25: Medtronic beats Wall St. estimates despite a decline in sales

Aug. 25: Medtronic beats Wall St. estimates despite a decline in sales

Officials said company should see quick benefit from recent acquisition of HeartWare.
St. Jude stock tumbles as report questions company's cybersecurity

St. Jude stock tumbles as report questions company's cybersecurity

A short seller says half of the company's revenue could be at stake; St. Jude said the claims are untrue.

Medical devices a target for cyberattacks, but how serious is the threat?

Security experts meeting in Minneapolis this week want to help firms fend off cybercrimes.
Medtronic warns doctors on heart valve delivery system after 19 deaths

Medtronic warns doctors on heart valve delivery system after 19 deaths

The Minnesota-run company informed doctors that it is voluntarily updating its instructions for using the minimally invasive EnVeo R delivery system.
Cardiovascular Systems names interim CEO Scott Ward to permanent post

Cardiovascular Systems names interim CEO Scott Ward to permanent post

The medical device company's new CEO has been chairman of its board of directors for nearly two years.
Obituary: After 63 years, Shirley and Roy Almen die within hours of one another

Obituary: After 63 years, Shirley and Roy Almen die within hours of one another

Roy Almen held his wife Shirley’s hand as she died, surrounded by family, in their home in Brooklyn Park. Two days later the same family…

St. Jude Medical changes its mind on executive stock perk

Execs could have millions in taxes covered if they leave in wake of Abbott deal.
Boston Scientific issues voluntary recall of Lotus valve system

Boston Scientific issues voluntary recall of Lotus valve system

Recall follows three deaths and affects older valve systems not yet implanted in patients.

Medtronic wins with wider availability for replacement heart valve

The revolutionary device does not require open-heart surgery.
After stumbling big, Boston Scientific has regained its stride

After stumbling big, Boston Scientific has regained its stride

Four years since hitting its nadir, Boston Scientific looks like a company on the move.
Boston Scientific swings to loss on one-time items, but outlook upbeat

Boston Scientific swings to loss on one-time items, but outlook upbeat

It raised its financial outlook for 2016 with rising sales, but one-time writedowns contributed to a loss for the quarter.
With acquisition pending, St. Jude Medical's rivals 'licking their lips,' analyst says

With acquisition pending, St. Jude Medical's rivals 'licking their lips,' analyst says

Its largest division has already taken a hit, and the complexity of a merger hasn't started yet.

Boston Scientific agrees to pay $275M to settle tax dispute

Just days before trial, medical device maker Boston Scientific Corp. has agreed to pay the Internal Revenue Service $275 million plus interest to settle more…
Feds taking a close look at Abbott's proposed purchase of St. Jude Medical

Feds taking a close look at Abbott's proposed purchase of St. Jude Medical

Regulators want a closer look, but the two expect it finalized by year's end.
Medtronic invests another $20 million in Mazor Robotics

Medtronic invests another $20 million in Mazor Robotics

Move comes as Mazor Robotics is set to announce a new guidance system.
In letter to Franken, FDA defends handling of Medtronic's Infuse study

In letter to Franken, FDA defends handling of Medtronic's Infuse study

Franken had asked it questions about late Medtronic report.

Coloplast pays $600,000 to settle price data allegations

It will pay $600,000 for allegedly missing deadlines to report price information.

Boston Scientific adds new warnings to surgical-mesh devices

The company faces more than 36,000 product liability cases related to the devices.
Medtronic could see $3 billion from favorable tax ruling

Medtronic could see $3 billion from favorable tax ruling

A judge sided with the company in a yearslong dispute with the IRS.

Congentix boardroom battle is over, but uncertainty remains

Lewis Pell's proxy challenge prevailed and now shareholders wonder about the next chapter.
Medtronic touts progress in insulin pump trial

Medtronic touts progress in insulin pump trial

The company said a trial with a new insulin pump showed progress in controlling glucose levels.

Senators press Justice Department on 'questionable actions' in Vascular Solutions case

Senators press Justice Dept. on its prosecution of Vascular Solutions.
Medtronic buys Twin Cities start-up firm Responsive Orthopedics

Medtronic buys Twin Cities start-up firm Responsive Orthopedics

Deal for Mpls. firm comes as hospitals look for lower-priced joint-replacement options.

Cogentix Medical could be delisted from Nasdaq exchange

A proxy fight and related management shake-up at Minnetonka-based Cogentix Medical has led to a warning letter from Nasdaq saying the company could be delisted…
Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation leads effort to train heart surgeons in Ethiopia

Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation leads effort to train heart surgeons in Ethiopia

Ethiopia lacks trained surgeons to combat rheumatic valvular heart disease in kids. A Minnesota-led effort is changing that.
Investors continue to be wary of Medtronic operating margins

Investors continue to be wary of Medtronic operating margins

It topped earnings estimates, but investors continue to focus on a lagging operating margin.
Medtronic adds Qualcomm to its growing diabetes partner list

Medtronic adds Qualcomm to its growing diabetes partner list

It will work with Qualcomm to develop devices to transit glucose levels in real time.
St. Jude Medical's stroke prevention device recommended for FDA approval

St. Jude Medical's stroke prevention device recommended for FDA approval

FDA-convened panel said stroke-prevention product appears safe and effective.
Growing health care companies are most valuable on the Star Tribune 100

Growing health care companies are most valuable on the Star Tribune 100

Health care is big business in America — 17.5 cents of every dollar spent in the U.S. in 2014 went to pay for it. Minnesota…
Medtronic says failure to report Infuse data was unintentional

Medtronic says failure to report Infuse data was unintentional

Franken, Klobuchar had sought explanation of how review was misplaced, findings unreported.
Medtronic buys Smith & Nephew gynecology unit, invests in robotics firm

Medtronic buys Smith & Nephew gynecology unit, invests in robotics firm

The medical device maker said gynecology is among the most underserved specialty procedure areas.
Is more monitoring better for Type 1 diabetes patients?

Is more monitoring better for Type 1 diabetes patients?

The nonprofit Children's Minnesota health system is in the midst of a yearlong clinical trial looking at monitoring of hour-by-hour glucose trends each week, instead of each quarter
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