GE gets FDA nod for X-Ray systems; DePuy's new president faces challenges;

> The FDA has cleared GE Healthcare's Optima XR220amx, Optima XR200amx and Brivo XR285amx--a new platform of user-friendly, mobile X-Ray systems offering improvements from its predecessors in reliability, accessibility and flexibility to help address the increasingly specialized radiographic needs of patients. The systems are designed to provide healthcare professionals with fast, low-dose, high quality images that can aid in accurate diagnoses as early as possible. GE Healthcare release

> DePuy Orthopaedics wants a dynasty, not a debacle. Andrew Ekdahl, whom DePuy officials announced this month as the company's new president, is now entrusted with leading the medical device business. He comes aboard at a precarious time, with the company dealing with quality-control issues related to its hip products. Story

> Boston Scientific garnered two upgrades and one downgrade from analysts, creating a roller-coaster effect in stock prices for the medical device giant. Item

>  A general surgeon and a gynecological surgeon at South Miami Hospital recently performed back-to-back operations on a patient while using the SPIDER Surgical System, resulting in the successful removal of both her gallbladder and a large ovarian cyst. TransEnterix release

> SweetSpot Diabetes Care has registered its Diabetes Device Data Transfer service as a medical device data system with the FDA. SweetSpot release

> The 25.8 million Americans who have diabetes may soon be free of finger pricks and daily insulin dosing. Mayo Clinic endocrinologists Yogish Kudva and Ananda Basu are developing an artificial pancreas that will deliver insulin automatically and with individualized precision. Mayo Clinic release

> Merit Medical Systems has closed its public offering of 5,520,000 shares of common stock, including 720,000 shares issued as a result of the underwriters' exercise of their over-allotment option. The net proceeds to the company from the offering are approximately $87.6 million, after deducting underwriting discounts, commissions and estimated offering expenses. Merit Medical release

> Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings, once devoted solely to the drug market, has began its foray into medical devices with a successful $2.9 billion cash buyout of American Medical Systems Holdings. News

And Finally... The remoteness and resource limitations of spaceflight pose a serious challenge to astronaut healthcare. One solution is ultrasound. Scientists with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) have developed tools that include techniques to streamline training and help remote experts guide non-physician astronauts to perform ultrasound exams. Ultrasound can be used to assess numerous conditions--fractured bones, collapsed lungs, kidney stones, organ damage and other ailments--in space and on Earth. NSBRI release

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