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Now, back to the news! Here’s just a taste of what’s happened in the past week….
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California welcomed an influx from the healthcare and technology sectors from the AdvaMed 2015conference in San Diego, and the Health 2.0 9th Annual Fall Conference in Santa Clara.
AdvaMed is also in the news for pursuing a repeal of the Obamacare Tax on medical devices. Spending has remained consistently low on medical devices over the years, according to Stephen J. Ubl, CEO of AdvaMed. A poll by AdvaMed of its member companies revealed that not only does the tax hurt spending on R&D it has also slowed hiring. Ubl has long been a thought leader and advocate for public policy and health care, and will take the reins as President and CEO for PhRMA in 2016.
The importance of medical device development to improve patient care cannot be underestimated. The FDA announced on October 5, 2015 that it had expanded indication for a medical device to treat patients with brain cancer. Glioblastoma Multiforme, or GBM, accounts for around 15 percent of all brain tumors and is typically resistant to standard treatment options.
The device, named Optune and created by Novocure, is portable and can be powered either by batteries or an outlet, and can be used independently by patients. Optune targets and prevents the division of cancer cells in the brain using TTTFields and can extend patients survival by a few months.
With last months’ scare revealing that medical devices can be hacked, companies are facing increased challenges to develop new devices and technologies. These concerns were discussed during AdvaMed 2015 at a panel led by Melissa Masters from Battle titled, The Hidden Life of Devices: Cyber security and Embedded Medical Devices.
Evolution of Healthcare
With the efficiencies gained with the adoption and integration of technology, there are new ways to conduct the business of healthcare and reduce administrative costs. CEO of PokitDok, Lisa Maki, announced at Health 2.0 that PokitDok is doing away with transactional charges with payers that normally get coupled with insurance enrollment, eligibility checks, claims processing, and more. “The cost of moving data from point A to point B and automating what used to be done with a lot of legacy technology is close to zero,” Maki Said. “We want to start passing that savings back to all of you.”
U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy also encouraged the evolution of healthcare in his Health 2.0 Keynote address by stressing the importance of moving our focus from treating disease, to preventing disease. Murthy tweeted that “Innovation and Technology can help us ensure that every man, woman, and child has a fair shot at good health.”