In a win for cardiac ablation device makers like Johnson & Johnson's Biosense Webster and AtriCure, two studies presented at the American College of Cardiology's annual meeting in San Diego concluded that performing atrial fibrillation ablation improves outcomes.
The latest clinical trial results for Medtronic's insertable cardiac monitor show that it's effective at detecting atrial fibrillation at an even higher rate than found in a previous study. That could help the company make its case for reimbursement for the smallest cardiac monitor available, the Reveal Linq, which was launched early last year.
St. Jude Medical has won FDA approval for its FlexAbility Ablation Catheter. This is the first irrigated ablation catheter with a flexible tip to be available in the U.S. The technology is used by electrophysiologists in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.
AliveCor has reduced the price on its ECG monitor to $74.99 from $199; it's also now a third-generation device that is 50% thinner and 40% lighter.
iRhythm has received a CE mark in Europe for its continuous heart monitoring Zio Service. The technology enables up to 14 days of continuous heart monitoring via a wireless patch; it includes analytical software, as well as report to the physician. In addition, iRhythm has partnered with cardiology distributor CardioLogic to market Zio in the U.K. for the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation and other cardiac arrhythmias.
Boston Scientific has invested in Iowa Approach, a new startup devoted to its novel atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation technology. The technique is expected to be easier and cheaper than the current AF ablation procedures; there are about 400,000 ablations to treat AF annually. The company expects to be ready for testing in humans in 2016.
Boehringer Ingelheim is working with managed care giant WellPoint in an effort to use real-world data to inform the development of new treatments of atrial fibrillation, keeping up with a sweeping trend in cardiovascular R&D.
GreatCall, maker of mobile health and safety apps, is adding the AliveCor Heart Monitor for detecting atrial fibrillation to its offerings. Alivecor's electrocardiogram can now be mounted to back of the GreatCall3 smartphone and used with the AliveECG app.
Researchers in Sweden and colleagues in Europe and the U.S. say they've found success with a blood test that screens for 12 biomarkers pointing to an increased likelihood of atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm that can cause all kinds of cardiac health risks.
Atrial fibrillation causes uneven blood flow, which results in subtle changes in facial skin color. Researchers were able to use that to diagnose AF patients in a small pilot study by using video of a person's face in conjunction with a software analysis of skin color.