#NowTrending: This Week’s MedTech News

charlie-baker-governor

Massachusetts Governor-elect Charlie Baker (R). Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

We bring you this week’s healthcare and medtech trends, in Boston and beyond:

1. Baker and Biotech

After a long election season that culminated in Tuesday’s midterm elections (which you hopefully voted in), Republican Charlie Baker officially won the Massachusetts gubernatorial election. What does that mean for Boston’s medtech industry?

Both Baker and his opponent, Democrat Martha Coakley, expressed support for the state’s $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative. When asked about the role of the state in helping the life sciences industries, Baker said he would like to improve research on the cost effectiveness of new medical technologies and their impacts on quality of life for patients. As Baker said in an October debate, “If you solve somebody’s problem permanently and make it so that they never have to go back to the hospital again to deal with whatever their ongoing medical condition is, that’s a big success. And yet we have not figured out … how to calculate that or think about it in the larger context of healthcare spending overall.” In essence, both candidates expressed similar positions on state biotech policy and Baker is not likely to take any drastic actions – but we’re glad he cares about the healthcare industry.

2. New Training Program Reduces Medical Error

Yesterday, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study on the efficacy of I-PASS programs, which focus on improving communication between physicians. The study, which took place in 9 hospitals around the US and Canada, found that the I-PASS program,which includes a resident handoff-improvement system, led to a 23% decrease in medical errors and a 30% decreased in preventable adverse events. The takeaway: improving communication between physicians through I-PASS programs can significantly improve care. Have any questions for the authors? You can ask them yourself on Medstro’s new NEJM Group Open Forum.

3. Slone Partners Comes to Cambridge

Slone Partners announced yesterday that it will open a new office in Kendall Square. The recruitment firm, which primarily focuses on the Diagnostic, Clinical Therapeutics, Healthcare IT, and Laboratory Testing industries, already had ties to Boston: they sponsored several annual medical events in the Boston area and are members of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. So what prompted the move? According to a press release, they were attracted to Kendall Square because of the “thriving biotech and life science industries” that populate the area. Good move, Slone Partners.

4. Ultrasound-on-a-chip

Bioentrepeneur Jonathan Rothberg is at it again: Rothberg has raised $100 million to develop a new medical imaging device. The technology, which Rothberg claimed is “as cheap as a stethoscope” and will “make doctors 100 times as effective,” will disrupt medical imaging by using a new type of ultrasound chip. The exact details behind the device are being withheld until its release, which is set to occur some time in the next 18 months. According to his patent application, Rothberg is aiming to create a compact new scanner that will create 3D images in real time. If Rothberg succeeds and the device is truly as cheap as he says, perhaps “100 times as effective” is not much of an exaggeration at all.

Brendan Pease

Brendan Pease

    Brendan Pease was MedTech Boston's first ever editorial and events intern. He is now a junior at Harvard University where he studies Molecular and Cellular Biology. He’s also the Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Harvard Science Review. Previously, he worked as a Market Intelligence intern at athenahealth and as a research assistant in the Goldberg Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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