Insights & News

Newsletter: The Vax Axe and Video Games | August 30th, 2021

August 30, 2021
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Stay up-to-date with the latest in healthcare releases, innovations, breakthroughs, and more!
The Vax Axe and Video Games

Hey everyone,

Hope you had a good weekend.

This past weekend marks the opening of College Football. I won’t make any really bold predictions like Alabama or Clemson going all the way, but I will declare that the Utah Utes designers have already won the season in my book! Ki-yi!!

Am I right @StephanieAllan?

So, three times last week I had someone warn me that they currently had COVID before our impending face-to-face interactions.

Once for a meeting at work, once by the employee at Home Depot— he kept his distance as he told me where to find doorstops— and then on Friday from a guy coming to pick up something I was selling on Craigslist.

I guess they thought they were being polite?

If you have COVID, stay the **** home!!! Is this a thing? Has this happened to you??

Lemme know.

Meanwhile, here’s the latest in MedTech and biotech that caught my attention.

Very truly yours,

Kevin Coker

Vax or get the axe?


The FDA’s recent approval of the Pfizer-BioTech Covid-19 vaccine has opened the door for company mandated vaccination policies.

The folks over at Endpoint conducted a poll asking their biopharma subscribers if their employer had vaccination mandates in place and whether they agreed with those mandates.

Out of the 414 responses, more than half revealed that their companies are requiring employees to get vaccinated.

And how do people feel about it? Well, 79% of people approved of the mandates, while 17% disapproved, and 4% had no opinion either way.

Let’s see how companies and employers approach vaccination, especially with boosters coming down the intravenous-line soon.

Step aside for smart knee technology

Recently getting De Novo clearance, Zimmer Biomet and Canary Medical’s Persona IQ system is the first “smart” knee implant on the market.

With patient customization in mind, the implant can get precise adjustments in 1–2-millimeter increments. But it’s the implantable Canturio TE sensor, which enables the smart functions including information metrics like range of motion, step count and walking speed, that distinguishes this product from other implants. The data collected from the sensor is then sent wirelessly to Zimmer Biomet’s cloud-based data-tracking platform.

“Persona IQ reflects our shared belief that automatic, reliable and accurate data collection and analysis represents the future of orthopedic care… The launch of Persona IQ marks the start of an exciting, ongoing partnership with Zimmer Biomet designed to innovate smart implant technologies that help joint replacement patients regain and maintain their mobility with confidence,” said William Hunter, M.D., CEO of Canary Medical.

I think it's safe to say that Smart Knees are the Bee's Knees

The game is far from over— for TALi


Akili Interactive recently announced that they acquired the US rights to technology created by digital health company TALi. This deal will help TALi open the door for US marketization. TALi is already available in Australia, India, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

TALi utilizes new mechanisms in video game therapy to assess, target, and improve attention function in children from ages 8-12. Combined with Akili’s EndeavorRx, TALi’s technology will be more accessible, which will help more children struggling with attention functions and difficulties in reading and writing.

“Akili is continuously seeking opportunities to expand our suite of targeted treatments for cognitive impairments, including through strategic collaborations with companies that share our commitment to delivering high-quality patient experiences built on scientific rigor… Focused on early childhood intervention targeting attention, TALi’s impressive technology is an ideal addition to Akili’s portfolio. We are committed to changing the way people think about medicine, and strategic agreements like this will allow us to expand our vision to treat cognitive impairments in entirely new ways and usher in the next generation of digital therapeutics,” said Eddie Martucci, PhD, Akili’s co-founder and CEO.

This deal helps put the future of video game therapy and treatment of attention function in focus.

Level Complete. Onto the next one, TALi!

Verily, Google’s sister-company, is breaking new ground in AI R&D


Verily Life Sciences has opened a new R&D center in Israel with a focus on AI-based solutions to biomedical problems. Research will center on applications in endoscopy, minimally invasive surgery, and x-ray and other imaging modalities.

Verily has been working on research using machine learning to help gastroenterologists find tiny, pre-cancerous growth, which serve as an indicator for Colorectal cancer.

Co-located with Google in Haifa and Tel Aviv, Verily will be led by Ehud Rivlin, professor of computer science at Technion, who has previously worked with Google Health.

“AI has great potential impact in healthcare and biomedicine, and the research collaboration between Google Health and Shaare Zedek shows the promise of using AI for medical applications. We’re excited about Verily coming to Israel, advancing the research collaborations, and bringing together Verily’s approach to healthcare, data science and technology with Israeli innovation and its advanced healthcare system,” said Yossi Matias, VP of engineering and research at Google and head of Google’s engineering center in Israel.

Big strides in the field of Colorectal cancer—

the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States!

Interview with yours truly!


Need some inspirational reading to start your week?

Check out my interview with Charlie Katz.

Hear the 5 things I wish someone told me before I became CEO.

I'm not too big on the whole self-promo thing— but my team encouraged me to put myself out there, and I really enjoyed the whole interview process.

3d printed biodegradable skin scaffold WHAT?


4Degra’s new 3d printed tissue scaffold is a gamechanger in the field of patient care— potentially eliminating the need for stents and the complications that come from implant and removal. This biomaterial is completely biodegradable and will dissolve in 1-2 years from surface erosion aka water in the body wearing it down.

The honeycomb-shaped scaffold uses what’s described as “shape memory properties” to fill the model soft tissue voids, allowing for tissue growth without damage to nearby tissue. This innovation will allow for tissue regrowth post-surgery and in the repair of complex long bone fractures.

“There are currently no biocompatible materials available that are also degradable by gradual surface erosion and able to be 3D printed into finely detailed tissue scaffold structures that are optimal from a tissue healing perspective…The combination of these advantages opens up innovation opportunities across a range of soft tissue repair and orthopedic indications,” said Philip Smith, CEO of 4D Biomaterials.

Might not fill the hole in your heart, but this device fills a big void in MedTech.

This Week's Webinars:


Galen Data's Preclinical, Regulatory, and Clinical Trial Planning 101 free, virtual webinar.

Tuesday, August 31st  at 12 pm CDT

Register here.

GG+Proxima webinar 9-2-21_promo graphic

Greenlight Guru's Demystifying the BDD & STeP Processes. It's not as easy as you think.

Thursday, September 2nd at 12 pm CDT

Register here.

Knowledge Base Highlights:

Top 3 Benefits of Breakthrough Device Designation or STeP Designation

Discover the 3 compelling benefits of BDD designation or STeP designation from our regulatory affairs team here.

FDA Highlights:

Did you know the Quality Systems Regulations (QSR) is the FDA's un-secret code for medical device innovators? Learn more here.

Catch us at our next event! We'd love to see you.

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