Reimbursement continues to be a challenge

At the annual AdvaMed industry conference, speakers usually moan and groan about federal regulations. This year, the complaining was reserved for something potentially more serious: actually getting paid for innovations. During the conference, the trade association touted a study concluding that insurers are rapidly models that "can have the effect of discouraging providers from using new technologies that may bring value to patients and the health care system but add to near-term costs."

Google goes after med tech, along with other VCs

If venture financing in the med tech sector stays on track through year end it would total about $2.5 billion, up from $2.1 billion in 2013, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association data. 

The rapid consumerization of med tech

Consumer-facing wearable devices are becoming incredibly sophisticated and are increasingly measuring and enabling statistics that are core to health. Next year seems likely to bring even more technological advances--but they must surmount growing consumer skepticism as early generations of FitBits and their ilk collect dust in forgotten drawers as well as growing scrutiny from regulators.

Med tech tackles tough problems

While established med tech giants occupied themselves largely with incremental refinements mean to protect existing franchises, it was innovation, mostly from smaller companies, that sparked real excitement from patients and investors alike.

Merger mania remakes the landscape

2014 was the year for medical device M&A activity. We don't expect to see med tech merger mania slow anytime soon, as the underlying motivations to improve growth rates, save on taxes and buy into new technology haven't changed. But there just aren't very many big medical device companies and that in itself limits the deal potential going forward.

Feds prepare for potential cyberattack with consequences worse than a canceled movie

Hollywood is concerned about North Korea's cyberattack and the subsequent cancelation of the comedy film "The Interview." But if a cyberattack on a networked infusion pump threatens patients at a hospital, that's a different story.

Micro-cap Vermillion raises $10.5M to launch ovarian cancer test

Vermillion has raised $10.5 million with the prospect of bumping that total up to $18.9 million, if investors exercise warrants that are part of the deal. That's a pretty impressive feat given that the company has only a $55 million market valuation.

Trio of med techs file IPOs to raise a total of up to $140M

Personalized drug metabolic diagnostic test company AltheaDx, cardiovascular imaging player Infraredx and brain-cooling device maker BeneChill have filed for IPOs in preparation for offerings that could come next year. They filed to raise up to $69 million, $55 million, and $14.7 million, respectively.

Medtronic touts positive drug-coated balloon study results as FDA approval looms

Medtronic touted study results in the journal Circulation showing that its In.Pact Admiral drug-coated balloon fared better than traditional balloon angioplasty in the treatment of symptomatic peripheral artery disease in the upper leg.

Study: Devices for obstructive sleep apnea could improve symptoms of depression

As med tech companies home in on innovative devices to treat obstructive sleep apnea, a new review shows that using a nightly device to treat the disorder could also lessen symptoms of depression.

China agrees to address device industry clinical trial requirements in bilateral agreement with U.S.

While China's move toward easing imports of U.S. medical devices into the country--worth about $2.7 billion in 2013--has already been documented, Beijing's commitment to address the medical device industry's growing concerns about the country's clinical trial requirements could ultimately be more significant.

Zimmer wins appeals court ruling; damages owed to Stryker for IP violation cut to $70M

A U.S. federal appeals court cut the patent infringement damages that Zimmer must pay to Stryker from $228 million to $70 million, overruling a previous decision that found the infringement was willful.

Asante files for $45M IPO to market cheap, easy insulin pump

Asante Solutions has filed to raise up to $45 million in an IPO to help it further commercialize its insulin pump, which is designed to be easy to use and is cheaper than products by major competitors. The startup is treading into territory dominated almost entirely by big medical device companies.

FDA clears NxStage device for 'nocturnal hemodialysis' in another victory for home healthcare

Home healthcare is a buzzphrase these days, and with good justification, including the aging population and a growing focus on cost-cutting within the healthcare system. Now NxStage Medical has won an expanded indication from the FDA for overnight home use of its System One hemodialysis system.

Siemens will complete separating out its healthcare biz in 2015, but no IPO

Siemens Healthcare will become a separate company in 2015, as previously planned. But the highly profitable company won't list on the public markets next year, the company's CEO told a German publication. Prior to this, the conglomerate was keeping its options open as to what to do with the unit, after committing this year to sell off several parts of it in deals that are slated to close early next year.

UPDATED: NIH launches crowdsourcing challenge to commercialize its neurological medical devices

The National Institutes of Health is launching The Neuro Startup Challenge, a crowdsourcing competition featuring 72 teams from 80 hospitals and universities, with a goal of commercializing 16 of its neuroscience inventions, including enhancements to MRI machines.

Roche continues diagnostics winning streak with Bina Tech acquisition

Roche snatched up DNA sequencing outfit Bina Technologies for an undisclosed sum, continuing its M&A winning streak and expanding its diagnostics footprint.

Medtronic reaches another milestone in developing its artificial pancreas

Medical device giant Medtronic said it reached another milestone in developing an artificial pancreas with the completion of global evaluations of its new insulin delivery system.

Wall Street, media approve of Stryker's multi-year buying spree

In response to Zimmer's $13.4 billion bid for Biomet, rumor has it that Stryker will snatch up the other relatively small orthopedics player, the U.K.'s Smith & Nephew.

Sonoma Orthopedic raises $12M to get ankle implant to market

Chicago-based private equity group First Analysis expects its $12 million cash infusion into Sonoma Orthopedic Products will be sufficient for the startup to gain FDA clearance for a new ankle implant--as well as to launch it and start to scale up sales.