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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
Once dogged by boardroom drama, Cogentix game plan finds traction

Once dogged by boardroom drama, Cogentix game plan finds traction

Increased demand for urology treatment is raising expectations at the device firm.
Judge dismisses fraud suit against Medtronic

Judge dismisses fraud suit against Medtronic

Lawsuit claimed devicemaker defrauded the federal government.
Boston Scientific, Medtronic tout trial data supporting use of neuromodulation devices

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 pain pump redesign OK'd by FDA

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

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

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…
VR helps seniors cope with depression, anxiety, Minneapolis center finds

VR helps seniors cope with depression, anxiety, Minneapolis center finds

A test program has yielded promising results at Ebenezer Care Center.

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.
Vercise is designed to more precisely target deep-brain stimulation

Vercise is designed to more precisely target deep-brain stimulation

The Vercise system aims to minimize negative side effects of DBS therapy
New implantable heart monitor shares data with patient's smartphone

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

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.
Health care megamergers are aiming to revamp how care is delivered

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

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.
UnitedHealth acquiring DaVita Medical Group for $4.9B

UnitedHealth acquiring DaVita Medical Group for $4.9B

The deal includes medical staff of 2,000 and further blurs insurance, provider line.
Clinical trial puts Apple Watch's heart monitoring prowess to the test

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

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.
Boston Scientific takes hit as Lotus valve woes mount

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.
Medtronic, IRS locked in high-stakes tax feud

Medtronic, IRS locked in high-stakes tax feud

With $1.4 billion in question, feud may have implications for industry.
Medtronic weathers storms, posts better-than-expected revenue, earnings

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

Analysts believe the company can meet growth targets despite recent production headaches.
India to review stent pricing caps that drew device-maker protest

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

Critics say cheaper stents have not added up to savings for patients.
Exit by Johnson & Johnson bolsters Medtronic's insulin pump dominance

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

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…
The computer will see you now: Digital medicine is poised for big things

The computer will see you now: Digital medicine is poised for big things

California cardiologist and author Dr. Eric Topol is known as the “dean of digital medicine” for his longtime work in highlighting the future promise of…
Heart stents fail to ease chest pain, landmark study says

Heart stents fail to ease chest pain, landmark study says

The findings in the study of nonemergency chest pain contradict widespread assumptions that using the metal mesh tubes would allow patients to exercise more by providing better blood flow.
St. Paul woman, 94, fulfills wish of a lifetime – meeting Al Franken

St. Paul woman, 94, fulfills wish of a lifetime – meeting Al Franken

When Helen Nemer found out she'd been nominated to have a longtime wish granted, the 94-year-old lifelong Minnesota resident thought about it and decided she…
Lawyers for 3M, patients spar over use of computer simulation in lawsuit

Lawyers for 3M, patients spar over use of computer simulation in lawsuit

More than 4,000 people who came down with serious infections after joint surgery are suing 3M Co.over a warm-air blower that may have deposited infectious bacteria in their incisions during surgery.
Lawsuits turn up heat on 3M's Bair Hugger warming blankets

Lawsuits turn up heat on 3M's Bair Hugger warming blankets

Dozens contend patient-warming blankets caused infections; 3M calls claims baseless.
Boston Scientific's 3Q sales, earnings grow despite Puerto Rico plant shutdown

Boston Scientific's 3Q sales, earnings grow despite Puerto Rico plant shutdown

Despite hurricane trouble, company surpassed Wall Street's expectations.
Hackers can exploit Boston Scientific's Zoom Latitude device, feds advise

Hackers can exploit Boston Scientific's Zoom Latitude device, feds advise

The Department of Homeland Security said a medical device from Boston Scientific called the Zoom Latitude programmer, used by doctors to communicate with implanted pacemakers…
Medtronic launches trial for mitral valve aimed at market worth billions

Medtronic launches trial for mitral valve aimed at market worth billions

First patient gets Intrepid device, aimed at patients with mitral regurgitation.
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.
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