May 2018 issue: DeviceTalks Minnesota Show preview, the hottest medtech startups of 2018 and more


Can Minnesota become a healthcare innovation hub?

The 10 hottest medtech startups of 2018

7 ways you can doom your medical device startup

Power morcellation: Questions linger for controversial tech

Speakers you need to see at DeviceTalks Minnesota

Medical device product development: Here are the basics

Minnesota continues to attract medtech innovators

California, especially Silicon Valley, may have a reputation as an epicenter of digital health. But while researching the health of the Minnesota medtech hub, I came to an important realization: There is actually a lot going on in the North Star State.

Here’s just a sample of the recent successes Minnesota has seen when it comes to both digital health and traditional medical device companies:

  • Bright Health, a Minneapolisbased health insurance startup that works closely with carefully selected “care partners,” raised $160 million last year in a Series B funding round.
  • Boston Scientific announced in March a $406 million deal for NxThera (Maple Grove, Minn.) and its Rezūm benign prostatic hyperplasia device, which uses steam to ablate excess prostate tissue.
  • Ferring Pharmaceuticals of Switzerland recently inked a deal to acquire Rebiotix (Roseville, Minn.) and its platform of living drugs. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Maple Grove, Minn.–based Inspire Medical Systems, a Medtronic spinout, is seeking to shake up sleep apnea treatment with a pacemaker-like system to treat obstructive sleep apnea; it has plans for an $86 million IPO.
  • Virtual care company Zipnosis (Minneapolis) in April announced an agreement with Allina Health, a major Twin Cities health provider, to update its online care offerings to better interact with patients.
  • A Hennepin County Medical Center spinout called Hitch Health has generated attention with a proprietary software solution that integrates the Electronic Health Record and ride share services, automatically syncing ride requests with medical appointments.

It actually shouldn’t come as a surprise that Minnesotans continue to innovate around healthcare. If we truly are going to make the U.S. healthcare system the most efficient, the most effective, the most innovative, the most humane provider of care in the world, we’re going to have to have collaboration between the hospitals and clinics, the insurers and the medtech companies.

Minnesota happens to have some of the best in all three areas. Mayo Clinic has been innovating the practice of healthcare out of Rochester, Minn., since the late 19th century. One of the largest U.S. health insurers, UnitedHealth Group, is headquartered in Minnetonka, Minn. And Medtronic, the largest medical device company in the world, is run operationally out of Fridley, Minn. (Boston Scientific and Abbott have a major presence around the Twin Cities, too, and 3M is also based there.)

The ecosystem of consultants and contract manufacturers is also impressive. Phillips-Medisize is based just over the state line in Hudson, W is., and Frisco, Texas–based Integer has multiple facilities in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro. Protolabs has pioneered quick-turn manufacturing out of Maple Plain, Minn., and Heraeus is a major innovator out of St. Paul. And that’s just a small sampling of the companies serving the industry.

Some might argue that we aren’t even at Minnesota 2.0 when it comes to the device industry. Maybe it’s Minnesota 3.0 or 4.0. What matters is that the state is entering a new, exciting chapter innovating medtech.

See it for yourself at our DeviceTalks Minnesota event June 4-5 in St. Paul (

Chris Newmarker
Managing Editor

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