ENTRIES TAGGED "devices"
Comparative effectiveness research is key to reform
When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed on a party line vote several years ago, it included a somewhat controversial provision to tax, at 2.3% starting in 2013, the sale of any medical device classified by the IRS as being taxable. The list of taxable devices includes a wide variety of products such as defibrillators, dental instruments, pacemakers, coronary stents, artificial hips, joints, and knees, surgical gloves, irradiation equipment, and advanced imaging technology. But it doesn’t stop there—patient monitoring, anesthesiology equipment, infusion pumps, and other hospital operating room digital devices are included in the IRS’s taxable device category. “Consumer” devices such as glucose monitors and potentially many upcoming “wearables” will likely also get taxed either now or soon. That’s where things get difficult for innovators and investors who want to offer next generation devices.
The medical device tax was levied partially to hinder the (over) prescription of medical devices. You and I are most familiar with devices like monitoring instruments or mobile phone sensors, but most dollars are spent on devices like stents, replacement knees, spinal fusion screws, proton beam accelerators, PET/CT scanners, etc. About $200 billion is spent on medical devices per year (about one-third the amount spent on pharmaceutical drugs). The idea behind the tax was twofold. One the one hand, Congress hoped to reduce health spending caused by the overuse of devices by taxing them. But in tandem, the influx of new patients into the health care system is expected to create more sales and revenue for device companies, allowing them to compensate for the excise the tax while bringing in more revenue for Uncle Sam.
How a sensor glove can benefit the patient-doctor relationship.
Recently a group of three young entrepreneurs showed off a prototype of a glove that contained sensors useful for medical examinations. Their goals were not merely to make diagnosis easier, but to save the doctor/patient relationship from the alienation of modern technology. Medical student Andrew Bishara came into O’Reilly’s Cambridge studio to discuss the glove’s capabilities, how the creators were inspired to design it, and how they plan to productize it.
Here’s the full video from our discussion:
Highlights from the conversation include:
- Introduction to the glove and its purpose in bringing touch back into medicine. [Discussed at the 0:31 mark]
- Some of the purposes of the sensors. [Discussed at the 2:00 mark]
- Software on the device and in the cloud. [Discussed at the 7:58 mark]
- Creating a marketable product from the glove. [Discussed at the 9:54 mark]
- Open hardware. [Discussed at the 13:39 mark]
- How the developers were inspired by Singularity University. [Discussed at the 15:03 mark]
A mobile mapping app lets users capture and visualize their movements.
The DIY mapping tool AntiMap lets users capture their movements via their mobile devices, then visualize and analyze their movements.
Evidence from devices could verify that a treatment was necessary, that it was administered, and that it was effective.
Big health advances in small packages: report from the third annual Medical Device Connectivity conference
At some point, all of us are likely to owe our lives–or our quality of life–to a medical device. Yesterday I had the chance to attend the third annual Medical Device Connectivity conference, where manufacturers, doctors, and administrators discussed how to get all these monitors, pumps, and imaging machines to work together for better patient care.
The Medical Device Connectivity conference this week at Harvard Medical School covers interoperability, standards, regulations, wireless networks, and devices in practice.