Google releases health and fitness developers' kit

Google released a preview of its software development kit for fitness apps on Aug. 7. The software will interact with wearable devices and enable a variety of apps to benefit from information about a user's fitness history stored on a centralized interface.

GE-funded NGO aims to repair developed-world medical devices in the developing world

General Electric's $2 billion commitment to invest in Africa includes the launch of a program to train biomedical engineering technicians in Nigeria, where patients are dying of treatable conditions because the devices to treat them are left unfixed due to a lack of know-how, according to a prominent nongovernmental organization.

Physicians hesitate to use HeartMate II pump after NEJM study, Thoratec down 30%

Thoratec shed almost one-third of its value after reporting abysmal second quarter earnings. The advanced heart failure device company attributed most of the miss to a New England Journal of Medicine article that came out late last year and linked the company's HeartMate II left ventricular assist device to an increasing rate of pump thrombosis.

Medtronic and Covidien face FTC pushback for pending merger

As the regulatory climate for corporate tax inversions reaches a boiling point, Medtronic is facing heightened government scrutiny for its pending merger with Covidien.

Device to combat wet AMD spreads in Europe, spurs NIH interest

Wet age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. The standard of care calls for about 8 costly injections into the eye of medication containing anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) per year. "In the real world having patients maintain that level of monitoring and therapy just does not happen," Jim Taylor, who has struggled to convince his aging mother to receive the therapy, told FierceMedicalDevices in an interview.

Roche, Quintiles partner for companion diagnostics in China

Ventana and Quintiles are partnering up to provide companion diagnostic testing services in China for early clinical trials. China is among a few countries that requires patient samples used in clinical trials to be tested domestically for inclusion in the country's approval process.

Scientists work toward faster, easier, cheaper Ebola diagnostics

While test strips and expensive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines exist in the Ebola detection market, scientists are after a medical device that can detect and prevent the spread of Ebola at a low cost.

St. Jude seals the deal with NeuroTherm to gain ground in neuromodulation

St. Jude Medical finalized its acquisition of interventional pain management therapy manufacturer NeuroTherm, gaining ground in a highly competitive neuromodulation market and expanding its chronic pain portfolio.

UPDATED: NeuroPace RNS Stimulator secures add-on payments from CMS

NeuroPace's implantable neurostimulator will receive new technology add-on payments from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in recognition of its clinical benefits compared to older therapies for the treatment of uncontrolled epilepsy in adults. 

Alere to complete strategic review by year-end

In the midst of a management transition, diagnostic company Alere missed its quarterly numbers. The company acknowledged its recent problems and missteps as well as started to outline a new strategic vision for Alere that will become clearer to investors around the end of this year, when a comprehensive review will be finished.

Ten big med tech companies add 25,000 jobs in 2013

An employment report released today by EP Vantage found that 12 of the 15 biggest device companies added to their head count in 2013. And Abbott and Covidien would have been net hirers were it not for the divestment of their pharma arms that year--resulting in the transfer of jobs to other companies, leaving Boston Scientific as the only large company to truly eliminate jobs last year.

Wright expects profitability by year-end with ankle system launch

Orthopedics player Wright Medical had a tough second quarter that it chalked up to acquisition expenses. Still, the company expects to end the year with positive adjusted EBITDA on the back of its mid-June launch of the Infinity total ankle replacement system.

Siemens and Cerner team to develop new med tech as part of $1.3B deal

Siemens and Cerner are teaming up to develop medical devices, imaging and healthcare technology as part of Cerner's $1.3 billion acquisition of Siemens' health information technology business.

Scientist robot gets venture funding from Omega

Andrew Alliance closed a Series B financing of an undisclosed amount to further develop and market its scientific robots.

GE Healthcare to focus on Africa, charitable arm funds training of med device technicians

General Electric is launching healthcare initiatives in Africa in partnership with governments and a $20 million commitment from the GE Foundation to improve the continent's healthcare. Most notably, the GE Foundation is funding a $1.5 million biomedical training program in Nigeria to ensure that the country has technicians who can fix devices ranging from blood pressure cuffs to X-rays.

Philips, Accenture create brain wave app for immobilized patients

As part of a broader mandate for Philips to make itself more relevant in healthcare, Royal Philips and Accenture have created proof-of-concept software to enable anyone with limited muscle or speech function to better interact with the world around them.

Home healthcare design considerations addressed in FDA final guidance

The migration of medical devices to the home poses new and unique challenges, prompting the FDA to finalize its guidance on design considerations for devices intended for home use (or "home healthcare"), issued today.

Latest Apple OS integrates health tech

Apple released its newest operating system, iOS 8 beta 5, on Aug. 4. The system includes a number of health-related features such as icons for "Body Data" and "Data Exporting."

Nanopores, microfluidics get $14.5M from NIH for new DNA sequencing tech

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded $14.5 million in eight grants to researchers working to develop high quality and low cost DNA sequencing. The grants are each for two to four years and are awarded through the Advanced DNA Sequencing Technology program of the National Human Genome Research Institute, a part of NIH.

Lombard Medical scores Japanese approval for endovascular stent graft system

Lombard Medical scored Japanese regulatory approval for its endovascular stent graft system, moving the company forward in its quest to grab a bigger piece of the endovascular aneurysm repair market.