This article was originally published in Start Up
CardioMEMS has developed a wireless, implantable pressure sensor, to help physicians "watch and wait" after endovascular AAA repair. The same technology forms the foundation for a future continuous monitoring platform in congestive heart failure.
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The general economic malaise closed the IPO window for medical device companies, forcing many to withdraw their public financing plans. Companies are adopting various financing and operational strategies to make a best of a bad situation.
The first stent grafts created a market for the endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms. They also created new problems for start-ups to overcome. New companies have risen to the problem of avoiding endoleaks, with new stent graft designs and attachment systems, and also solutions for continuous monitoring.
Companies with new, often implantable devices that enable the remote monitoring of patients aim to enable a new, more efficient kind of disease management. However, one of the biggest hurdles to adoption of disease management to date has been lack of reimbursement. The patients that can most benefit from disease management--sufferers of congestive heart failure, for example--tend to be elderly people that are covered by Medicare, which has no mechanisms to reimburse for disease management. So, beyond the usual hurdles that device companies face, of working the kinks out of technology and proving its clinical value to physicians, patient monitoring companies also need to find the right delivery model that helps them get paid for their technology.