Medtech moves beyond the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic is still very much with us, and medtech companies continue churning out devices to meet coronavirus patient needs.
Device companies, however, are already looking to the future, including a return to some form of normal life. One scenario that orthopedic companies are counting on is that people who want surgery to correct painful conditions will seek it out rather than avoid it.
The pandemic-induced drop in elective surgeries hit these companies hard, as executive editor Chris Newmarker explains in the feature article, “The 10 largest orthopedic companies in the world.” Newmarker documents how these firms plan to recover and thrive.
In another feature, senior editor Danielle Kirsh illustrates how some of the industry’s other big players fared during the pandemic. (Hint: It wasn’t that bad.) And in the Women in Medtech column, Kirsh describes how a biomedical engineer and a vascular surgeon developed a device that enables physicians — and potentially first responders — to help patients survive hemorrhages by blocking blood flow to the extremities.
This edition of Medical Design & Outsourcing also includes:
- A ton of helpful intellectual property protection information in this month’s IP column, gleaned from the expertise of attorneys from Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner.
- Hologic CEO Steve MacMillan’s thoughts on how the company plans to create an information index to yield new data on women’s health, from DeviceTalks editorial director Tom Salemi.
- Pharma editor Brian Buntz’s description of a fascinating technology that uses tiny, screw-like robots for precision drug dosing, including for brain tumors.
Spurred on by the pandemic, companies in other industries continue to adapt their R&D and manufacturing expertise for healthcare. In this edition’s cover story, I describe how 3M and a pair of safety equipment companies recently redesigned reusable industrial-style masks for use in healthcare settings. They each figured out ways to redirect and filter the healthcare workers’ exhalations to protect patients and others from catching COVID from them.
The likelihood of their adoption looks promising. Federal officials want hospitals nationwide to test them and come up with best practices for their use. The FDA has also advised healthcare providers to move away from decontaminating and reusing disposable masks and toward sturdier, longer-lasting and more protective devices such as these.
The sorrows and victories of the COVID-19 pandemic will remain burned in our memories forever. They will also surely inform the decisions that medtech industry leaders make as they plan to meet the next public health challenge. If there’s one thing we learned from the past year, it’s that medtech is up to the task.
Medical Design & Outsourcing