Top Device Stories of 2010: A Look Back and a Glance Forward
This article was adapted from "Top Device Stories of 2010: Waiting for the Other Shoes to Fall," in the January 2011 issue of IN VIVO.
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Once considered the high flying segment of the musculoskeletal industry, the spine industry has finally hit a wall as procedure volumes stall, implant prices tumble, and payors push back on authorizing expensive operations for back pain such as spinal fusion. As economic woes heighten, hand in hand with persistent unemployment just as health care and regulatory reforms kick in, many left the North American Spine Society meeting in early October wondering where the bright spots are in this industry.
In the interventional cardiology community, 2010 could certainly be considered a breakthrough year for percutaneous heart valve devices. At two major US cardiology conferences: the American College of Cardiology in the spring, and most recently, the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics symposium, held in September, impressive results from randomized trials of transcatheter heart valve replacement/repair devices set the venues abuzz and had physicians speculating about possible near-term paradigm shifts in the way heart valve disease will be treated. The big questions now are how long it will take before these devices reach the US market, and exactly how many US patients are likely to be implanted once they are available.