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New Medical Devices Advance Treatment Options


As Plato wrote in Republic, “the true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention.” At no time was that more true than as 2020 pushed rapid adoption and use of telemedicine and remote treatment.

Thanks in part to necessity, medicine – and by extension, medical devices – went through a transformation in 2020. New devices hit the market in droves, and offered less invasive alternatives to surgery. In fact, many of the resources developed in 2020 could well improve patient outcomes over the long term.

MitraClip™ (Abbott Labs): Developed to address leaky heart valve issues, MitraClip resolves the issue of mitral regurgitation, which can lead to heart failure. In a catheter-based procedure, the mitral clip is inserted into the heart valve and positioned to allow the valve to close more completely, restoring normal blood flow through the heart.

Venous Stent System (VENOVO): Used to treat symptomatic iliofemoral venous outflow obstruction, which is the severe obstruction of the iliac veins or vena cava. Such obstructions can cause severe lower extremity pain, cramping and inflammatory disorders. The system, made of nickel-titanium alloy tubing and over-the-wire stent, holds open the narrow vein, improving blood flow from the leg and reducing pain.

HeartLogic™ Heart Failure Diagnostic (Boston Scientific): The heart monitoring device monitors a patient’s heart function remotely. The device, which uses multiple physiological sensors that are highly sensitive, can alert medical providers weeks in advance of worsening patient condition. The physician can then respond more quickly with treatment.

Cala Trio™ (Cala Health): Worn on the wrist, the watch-sized device is the first non-invasive therapy to reduce hand tremors. Calibrated to the patient’s tremor symptoms, the device interrupts tremors and stimulates nerves to reduce hand tremors.

reSET-O (Pear Therapeutics): A prescription digital therapeutic is a digital device that allows clinicians to monitor and view information about patients being treated for opioid use. The device is an 84-day treatment that provides cognitive behavioral therapy that allows providers to monitor patient use of the dashboard, and patients can report cravings, substance use and receive compliance rewards.

GentleWave® Root Canal System (Sonendo): A root canal debridement, dissolution and disinfection treatment, GentleWave is a minimally invasive option for root canal therapy. The technology reduces patient inconvenience, eliminates the chance of cross- contamination and reduces operatory turnover.

AirDuo® Digihaler® and ArmonAir® Digihaler® (Teva Pharmaceuticals): Used for treatment of asthma, both products come with built-in Bluetooth® wireless technology that connects to a mobile app. The app then records when the product is used. The company has a third digitally connected inhaler, ProAir® Digihaler®, which treats or prevents bronchospasm. All three can help medical providers improve treatment by gathering information on patient use.

As medicine and delivery of care continue to transform in the wake of the pandemic, look for more innovation coming from device manufacturers. Necessity has created disruption in the market, and manufacturers have responded with life-saving devices that give more options to their patients and allow for easier remote delivery of care.

As new devices hit the market, NFP will continue to bring you up-to-date information on the products and the insurance community’s response to these innovative treatments.

For more information, please contact Dan Schneider at dan.schneider@nfp.com.

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