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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 dollar hurting Medtronic's growth

Strong dollar hurting Medtronic's growth

The medical device maker adjusted its prior-year results to make it easier for investors to understand its performance with the acquisition of Covidien.
Medtronic hints at future strategy: emerging markets and more acquisitions

Medtronic hints at future strategy: emerging markets and more acquisitions

The company is expected to talk about its outlook for the year as it announces results Tuesday.
Minnesota's medical technology heritage featured at Smithsonian history museum

Minnesota's medical technology heritage featured at Smithsonian history museum

Minnesota’s pioneering medical devices are part of national museum exhibit opening July 1.

Sunshine Heart resuming national study of heart-failure device

The clinical trial for its heart-failure therapy is back on after pause due to deaths.

Imris files Chapter 11, seeks sale; city of Minnetonka among creditors

The city of Minnetonka, listed as a creditor, lent the firm $500,000 in 2013.
St. Jude facing safety questions regarding tiny new pacemaker

St. Jude facing safety questions regarding tiny new pacemaker

Physicians, and some stock analysts, are closely watching the safety profile of tiny novel pacemakers like the Nano­stim in ongoing studies. Implants of the device have been halted in Europe after several became dislodged.
Medtronic reports sales jump, sees profit at high end of guidance

Medtronic reports sales jump, sees profit at high end of guidance

Financial performance since acquisition was better than expected.

Scrutiny of how medical-device companies sell products heats up

The aftermath of indictments of Vascular Solutions has many executives seeking extra counsel on marketing maneuvers.
Device for acid reflux approved by FDA, but not by insurers

Device for acid reflux approved by FDA, but not by insurers

Health insurers are skeptical of a Minnesota firm’s acid-reflux device.

Blue Cross joins med-tech start-up space TreeHouse Health

The health plan joins the med-tech start-up space as an anchor tenant.
Medical innovation, today and in the future

Medical innovation, today and in the future

Dr. Wesley Pederseni mplanted a locally designed mitral heart valve through a small tube in the beating heart of a patient, becoming the first doctor to do so in the United States.
Obituary: Gertrude Ulrich, 87, was the 'matriarch of Richfield'

Obituary: Gertrude Ulrich, 87, was the 'matriarch of Richfield'

Gertrude P. Ulrich could have moved out of Richfield when her house on Aldrich Avenue and 76th Street was torn down in the name of…

Twin Cities company Oxygen Plan taps Mayo to develop stress app

A St. Louis Park company is working with the Mayo Clinic to develop a mobile app to measure a person’s stress level.
Doctors' financial interests, and potential conflicts, have become public information

Doctors' financial interests, and potential conflicts, have become public information

Doctors’ financial interests, and potential conflicts, have become public information
Oct. 12: Data disclosures highlight doctor-payment relationships

Oct. 12: Data disclosures highlight doctor-payment relationships

The new Open Payments data has injected hard numbers into a debate over whether large checks can lead doctors to use certain products.

Coronary device sales jump at Cardiovascular Systems

Revenue from sales of medical devices to clear plaque from blood vessels jumped 36 percent in the most recent quarter for New Brighton’s Cardiovascular Systems…
Boston Scientific strikes deal in vaginal mesh suits, reports 1Q loss

Boston Scientific strikes deal in vaginal mesh suits, reports 1Q loss

Boston Scientific agreed to pay about $119 million to settle lawsuits involving nearly 3,000 women.
FDA deal sharply limits Medtronic infusion pump manufacturing, sales

FDA deal sharply limits Medtronic infusion pump manufacturing, sales

FDA said the company has failed to fix problems with the SynchroMed II device.
April 11: FDA approves Medtronic's CoreValve for broader use

April 11: FDA approves Medtronic's CoreValve for broader use

The therapy is attractive for frail patients because it avoids the need to cut open the chest.
April 3: Medical device maker Medtronic buys Dutch diabetes clinic

April 3: Medical device maker Medtronic buys Dutch diabetes clinic

Medtronic PLC is buying a Dutch diabetes clinic and research center, a modest but strategically significant acquisition for the global medical device giant.
Boston Scientific enrolls first patient in trial for high blood pressure therapy

Boston Scientific enrolls first patient in trial for high blood pressure therapy

Billions in profits at stake as big players seek to prove renal denervation therapy works.
St. Jude Medical stock moves higher on first-quarter results

St. Jude Medical stock moves higher on first-quarter results

St. Jude shares rose sharply after it reported stronger-than-expected results.

St. Jude to buy chronic pain treatment company for $215 million

Device from Spinal Modulation, of Belgium, stimulates nerve center to treat chronic pain.
Magnetic rods for curved spines mean fewer surgeries for young patients

Magnetic rods for curved spines mean fewer surgeries for young patients

Magnetic rods in patients with severe scoliosis avoid multiple surgeries

Two more papers support Medtronic clot-removal therapy for strokes

Studies show removal of clots with Solitaire device may be more effective than drugs alone.
Medtronic gets European approval for smallest pacemaker

Medtronic gets European approval for smallest pacemaker

Medtronic joins crosstown rival St. Jude Medical Inc. in speeding toward full commercial approval from the Food and Drug Administration for U.S. sales.

California med-tech company to move headquarters to Golden Valley

BioSig Technologies plans to add a dozen employees.
In a first, U.S. patient's mitral heart valve replaced on tip of a catheter

In a first, U.S. patient's mitral heart valve replaced on tip of a catheter

At Abbott, Roseville company’s new mitral device gets its first human patient

Maple Grove health care company licenses its cancer treatment to N.Y. firm

EmboMedics’ therapy lacks FDA approval, but a New York firm paid $2 million for rights to it.
Medtronic pays $4.4 million to settle government lawsuit

Medtronic pays $4.4 million to settle government lawsuit

The med-tech company was charged with selling spinal surgery devices to the U.S. military that were made in China and Malaysia, in violation of U.S. law.
Medtronic to relaunch clinical trial for therapy to control high blood pressure

Medtronic to relaunch clinical trial for therapy to control high blood pressure

This follows the earlier failure of their renal denervation trial.

Minnetonka-based Uroplasty completes merger, changes name to Cogentix Medical

Incontinence-device maker is Cogentix Medical.
UnitedHealth pays $13 billion for pharmacy-benefit manager

UnitedHealth pays $13 billion for pharmacy-benefit manager

UnitedHealth beefs up drug benefits role with Catamaran acquisition.
Vascular Solutions, CEO get ready to take on FDA conspiracy charges

Vascular Solutions, CEO get ready to take on FDA conspiracy charges

Vascular Solutions and its defiant CEO are expected to deploy a free-speech defense against conspiracy charges.
St. Jude launches trial of heart valve for children

St. Jude launches trial of heart valve for children

Responding to calls for pediatric devices, St. Jude launches clinical trial of a mechanical heart valve for children.
Medtronic acquires hearing-aid technology that transmits sound through the skin

Medtronic acquires hearing-aid technology that transmits sound through the skin

Sophono Inc. makes a hearing device implant that transmits sound through the skin.
St. Jude Medical stock weathers a downgrade amid concern over growth

St. Jude Medical stock weathers a downgrade amid concern over growth

It has been on a steady rise since its fall amid a Wells Fargo downgrade, growth concerns.

Minnesota heart device makers tout approvals, advances

Local companies tout approvals, products, outcomes in time for cardiologists’ annual meeting.
Boston Scientific stock gets boost on FDA device approval

Boston Scientific stock gets boost on FDA device approval

Company’s stock climbed after the FDA approved a mechanism that will cut some stroke risks.
A high-stakes heart-valve race

A high-stakes heart-valve race

Boston Scientific, Medtronic and St. Jude are in the competition over a medical technology niche poised to balloon to $4 billion in global sales five years from now.
Risks, benefits weighed in JAMA study on valve replacement

Risks, benefits weighed in JAMA study on valve replacement

Study found that 1 in 4 died within a year but many were aged and ill with other ailments.

St. Jude Medical looks to restart clinical trial for valve device

The valve device is seen as a promising niche for medical technology.

Sunshine Heart stops C-Pulse trial to investigate patient deaths

Sunshine Heart said the four deaths don’t appear to be related to the device.
Roseville firm gets OK for cardiac-arrest device

Roseville firm gets OK for cardiac-arrest device

Advanced Circulatory Systems’ device has improved survival rates for heart-attack patients.
In St. Paul, Selma anniversary becomes a rallying cry

In St. Paul, Selma anniversary becomes a rallying cry

Marchers celebrate accomplishments but say there's much to be done toward racial equality.
Boston Scientific's $1.65B acquisition expands into men's urology business

Boston Scientific's $1.65B acquisition expands into men's urology business

The company’s $1.65B purchase of Minnetonka business dovetails with current products.
St. Jude device gives early warning on heart failure

St. Jude device gives early warning on heart failure

A new device made by St. Jude Medical detects subtle changes in blood pressure, allowing doctors to treat failing hearts before patients end up in the emergency room.

St. Jude Medical to pay $14.25 million in Riata lawsuits

The firm agreed to settle claims for the defibrillator leads, which degraded in as little as four years.

FDA: Device for gallstones may transmit deadly bacteria

Minnesota doctors remain vigilant in efforts to clean endoscopes and monitor for infectious outbreaks
Eagan-based Summit Medical sold to private equity firm

Eagan-based Summit Medical sold to private equity firm

Summit Medical makes trays to sterilize reusable surgical tools.

Medtronic buys device to treat bladder-control issues

The deal puts the device maker in direct competition with Minnetonka’s Uroplasty
Medical device surveillance on the horizon

Medical device surveillance on the horizon

Tracking medical devices could eventually spare patients from suffering complications.
Boston Scientific's J&J settlement cheers investors

Boston Scientific's J&J settlement cheers investors

Investors applauded its settlement with J&J, but the Twin Cities medical device giant isn’t done with the courts.
Medtronic posts strong profit growth on U.S. sales strength

Medtronic posts strong profit growth on U.S. sales strength

The medical device giant posted strong results in its last report before moving to Dublin.
Moody's says debt creates questions for Medtronic cash

Moody's says debt creates questions for Medtronic cash

World’s biggest device maker may find more debt reduces flexibility to respond to setbacks, according to a new report.

Clinical trials find stents improve survival rate for stroke patients

Thanks to Covidien deal, medical company will benefit from new stent, stroke findings.

Covidien recalls blood-clot device

The FDA has classified the company recall of mislabeled infusion systems as a Class 1, which means that patients could be harmed.
Boston Scientific jumps into the market with a drug-coated balloon

Boston Scientific jumps into the market with a drug-coated balloon

It’s competing with Medtronic, selling device that is increasingly used instead of stents in vascular surgery.
Medtronic subsidiary pays $1.25 million to settle federal lawsuit

Medtronic subsidiary pays $1.25 million to settle federal lawsuit

EV3 will pay $1.25 million to settle allegations of overbilling without admitting wrongdoing.
Boston Scientific upbeat about 2015, but challenges are many

Boston Scientific upbeat about 2015, but challenges are many

The company reported a fifth straight quarter of sales growth but faces some big challenges.

Eden Prairie-based Celleration bought for $30M

Eden Prairie’s Celleration uses ultrasound waves to stimulate wound healing.

Bio-Techne reports rise in profits but misses estimates

The company touts strong sales growth in China despite currency challenges.
Obituary: Donald Lucker, businessman and art collector

Obituary: Donald Lucker, businessman and art collector

Donald Lucker never had formal training in computers, or in business for that matter. But after joining a Minneapolis metal fabrication company as an air…
Medtronic completes mega-deal for Covidien

Medtronic completes mega-deal for Covidien

Shares in the combined company, Medtronic PLC, are expected to begin trading Tuesday.
Up next for Medtronic: Changing the whole health care system

Up next for Medtronic: Changing the whole health care system

With the acquisition of Covidien a done deal, Medtronic executives now must show that the union offers more than just tax benefits.

Vascular Solutions buys manufacturing facility

The company is buying a facility in Maple Grove as it fights a criminal case.
St. Jude Medical earnings meet expectations

St. Jude Medical earnings meet expectations

The company plans to adopt a currency-hedging program to moderate earnings fluctuations caused by exchange rates.

Target's exit from Canada likely bad for landlords; some suppliers should do OK

The landlords of Target’s 130 leased retail stores in Canada are likely to be among the biggest losers in a bankruptcy process started by Target…
Roseville firm's weight loss device first in 7 years to receive FDA approval

Roseville firm's weight loss device first in 7 years to receive FDA approval

Roseville company wins FDA approval for implant that signals brain not to crave food.

St. Jude Medical says it will meet earnings expectations

The company also said it will begin a $500 million stock buyback program.

Biotech company with Mayo Clinic roots signs licensing deal

Omnis signed agreement with global drugmaker AstraZeneca.
Going deep inside the lungs

Going deep inside the lungs

Latest technology developed by a unit of Covidien Inc. lets cancer doctors guide scopes through labyrinthine airways without cutting tissue.
Shareholders approve Medtronic deal to buy Covidien

Shareholders approve Medtronic deal to buy Covidien

Shareholders approve deal as executives tout jobs and opponents criticize tax hit.

Medtronic gets approval for drug-coated balloon

Drug-coated balloons projected to sell well for the Fridley firm amid its Covidien acquisition.
Shareholders to vote on Medtronic-Covidien deal

Shareholders to vote on Medtronic-Covidien deal

Medtronic and Covidien stock owners will weigh in this week on the much-debated $48 billion merger.
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