June’s top stories: NIH’s neuroimaging study for autism, Philips' €1.9bn purchase of Spectranetics

A new study by the University of North Carolina and Washington University School of Medicine demonstrated the use of the fcMRI technique to predict the risk for autism in infants, and Royal Philips signed an agreement to buy Spectranetics. Medicaldevice-network.com wraps-up the key headlines from June 2017.


A new study carried out by researchers at the University of North Carolina, US, and Washington University School of Medicine, US, demonstrated the use of the functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) technique in predicting the risk for autism in infants.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) units, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

The results indicated the potential of the neuroimaging technique to predict the high-risk of six-month-old infants developing autism spectrum disorder by the age of two years.


Philips to take over cardiac devices maker Spectranetics for €1.9bn

Royal Philips signed a definitive agreement to acquire US-based cardiac solutions provider Spectranetics for approximately €1.9bn.

Under the contract, Philips will purchase all of the issued and outstanding shares of Spectranetics.

Spectranetics provides vascular intervention for the treatment of coronary and peripheral artery diseases, as well as lead management to allow minimally invasive removal of implanted pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) leads.


Karolinska Institutet research shows use of drones during cardiac arrest alarm

Research conducted by the Centre for Resuscitation Science at Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm South General (Söder) Hospital in Sweden demonstrated the use of drones in increasing survival from cardiac arrest.

The researchers showed that a specially constructed drone with a defibrillator can be dispatched using an alarm and delivered automatically to the site of a cardiac arrest before the arrival of an ambulance.

Developed in collaboration with engineers from FlyPulse, the new drone is said to be a uniquely adapted ambulance.


PerkinElmer to purchase Germany’s Euroimmun for $1.3bn

Scientific instruments maker PerkinElmer signed a definitive agreement to purchase 100% stake in Germany-based Euroimmun Medical Laboratory Diagnostics for around $1.3bn.

The acquisition is expected to boost PerkinElmer’s presence in autoimmune and allergy diagnostics, as well as provide new infectious disease capabilities to Chinese customers.

The deal will further allow the firm to leverage technologies, market positions and complementary commercial activities to offer better solutions for its expanding customer base.


Zebra launches new imaging analytics platform in Europe, Australia and New Zealand

Zebra Medical Vision launched its new imaging analytics platform called Deep Learning Analytics Engine in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, following the grant of CE mark and respective regulatory approvals.

The machine learning imaging analytics solution is designed to aid physicians and healthcare providers in offering better patient care.

The engine automatically analyses imaging data and allows radiologists to deliver quick, accurate and comprehensive reports.


Sophia Genetics uses AI in liquid biopsies for early cancer detection

Swiss data-driven medicine firm Sophia Genetics developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) powered solution for liquid biopsies to enable early diagnosis and treatment of cancer, as well as to monitor the effectiveness of treatment.

The new solution uses the analytical power of the firm’s AI called SOPHiA to assess the circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) or circulating tumour cells (CTC) present in liquid samples such as blood, urine and cerebral spinal fluid.

The new application is developed to provide a quick and less invasive alternative for patients.


UK researchers develop new blood test for precision prostate cancer therapy

Researchers at the UK Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust developed a new three-in-one blood test for a precision prostate cancer therapy that targets mutations in the BRCA genes.

Designed for testing and analysing cancer DNA in the blood, the new test allowed the researchers to detect patients who are most likely to benefit from treatment with PARP inhibitor drugs and identify men who are not responding to the therapy.

The analysis was also used to monitor a patient’s blood throughout treatment for signs of resistance to the medication.


UW researchers find new method for using DBS for essential tremor

Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) and its Centre for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) developed a new approach to using deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of essential tremor.

DBS involves implanting electrodes deep in the brain, and the wire is then passed underneath the skin to a battery placed in the chest to provide electrical stimulation as a way of addressing the disorder’s symptoms.

The implanted devices provide continuous stimulation even in cases when the patients do not require it, leading to battery wastage.


Medtronic launches new study to monitor OIRD using Capnostream

Medtronic began a new clinical study called PRODIGY to detect high-risk opioid-induced respiratory depression (OIRD) patients, using its Capnostream 20p and 35 devices.

The prospective, multi-centre, post-market, international cohort study will assess the clinical and economic benefits of using pulse oximetry and capnography in 1,650 patients at 16 clinical centres.

Pulse oximetry is a device designed to measure oxygen saturation and pulse rate, while capnography is a tool used to measure respiration rate and carbon dioxide in exhaled air.


UCL finds new test to detect and monitor Huntington’s disease

The University College London (UCL) in the UK, identified a new blood test to predict the onset, monitor the progression, and examine new treatments for Huntington’s disease (HD).

The test is designed to measure a protein called neurofilament light chain that is released from damaged brain cells.

The study was conducted by researchers at the UCL Huntington’s Disease Centre in collaboration with their colleagues in Sweden, the US, Canada, France, and the Netherlands.