Twitter, Tesla and Things Not to Do Unless You are a Trillionaire
(on a Tuesday no less)
So last week Elon Musk disclosed in an SEC filing that he had amassed over 9% of Twitter. More stock than Jack Dorsey owns apparently.
A few days later he is invited to be on the board.
A few days after that he takes to Twitter to critique the company. He makes a point, that the top 10 Twitter profiles rarely use the platform any longer. He suggests multiple improvements such as lowering the price of their new Blue product from $2.99 to $2, making it ad free, and turning the corporate headquarters in San Francisco to a homeless shelter. Do any of you know what Twitter Blue is?
Two days later he was invited to be on the Board of Directors. As part of that agreement, he could not acquire more than 15% of the company. (Note: During the tweetfest Space X sends the very first private (non-government) to space).
A day later he was scheduled to have a Q&A with incensed Twitter employees.
Two days later he refuses to be on Board and CEO Parag Argawal states that it is for the best. Note there is no agreement now in force to limit his future ownership of Twitter.
Recall a couple of years ago a random tweet by Elon stating that he was going to take the company private got him fired from the Tesla Board and fined $40M by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
I’m not sure what the moral of the story is, but there’s one in here somewhere. Stay off Twitter? Don’t post things about your company on social unless you are a billionaire? Maybe… if you have this type of influence focus on things that can contribute to mankind. Tesla? Neuralink? BTW – word to the wise be careful with future claims. FDA may not be as kind as the SEC. You guys should talk to us. Or someone. But not through Twitter.
BTW, Neuralink isn’t the only game in town. Take a look below. Happy Tuesday y’all.
Good news in the investor space— the stock market has supposedly “exited” its correction. According to history, this means things are statistically on the up and up.
Please… please… please… I went big (for me) on Cathie Woods ARK funds at the end of last year. Please don’t ever take investment advice from me.
On a different note, there are signs in the life science market that we may be in for an industry correction ourselves. Stay tuned. More to come. Maybe next week!
The rise of the unicorn has plummeted so far this year, dropping 19% since last quarter.
However, it’s not bad as it seems. Q1 of 22 is on record as the 4th largest quarter for funding.
Synchron’s Brain Implant Still Safe & Effective
A year has gone by, and the four ALS patients implanted with Synchron’s brain-computer interface technology have suffered no adverse effects.
A year in which the paralyzed individuals were able to complete tasks such as online banking and shopping and even tweeting without using their voice or any bodily movement.
Unlike other motor neuroprostheses (MNPs), Synchron’s BCI is implanted through the vein rather than removing a part of the skull and placing electrodes directly on the brain. Researchers used eye tracking to detect where subjects were on a computer screen.
As the study progressed, researchers developed a decoder that allowed one subject to control the computer without the eye tracker. Researchers asked the subject to attempt movements, like tapping their feet, and the decoder analyzed the nerve signals and translated them into movement signals to control the computer.
Hernia Mesh-Up: Drugs & Devices
With over one million performed every year, Hernia surgeries are commonplace in the US. What is also as common is the risk of infection and inflammation associated with the surgery.
Fresh off a 510(k), Ariste’s drug-embedded, polypropylene hernia mesh is here to help with that. Hernia meshes have been as problematic as the surgeries, but Ariste came up with a way to combat that problem.
Ariste’s proprietary technology allows the mesh to administer antibiotics minocycline and rifampin post-surgery, curbing microbial colonization and reducing the risk of complication.
Opening the doors for other treatments, the tech also allows an assortment of drug and device combinations as it can use any drug with several medical device options.
Goals of FDA’s Commish & TPLC Advisory Pilot Program
In a recent public address at the Health Datapalooza and National Health Policy Conference in Arlington, VA., FDA Chief, Robert Califf, shared his observations of shortcomings in the US healthcare industry.
Califf, who is currently serving his second stint as FDA commissioner, noted that while industry is thriving, major problems remain, especially when comparing the US to other first-world countries.
Relying on his experience at Alphabet, Califf highlighted the fact that the US has a lot of moving parts working efficiently, but not cohesively, leading to poor outcomes for patients and individuals.
Califf acknowledged the disconnect and stressed the FDA’s role in improving outcomes.
“We need to revamp our system of evidence generation for decision-making. Despite all of our magnificent efforts, less than 20% of clinical practice guideline recommendations are based on high-quality evidence. How can that possibly be given all the research that we’re doing?”
The FDA’s Total Product Life Cycle Advisory Program pilot may align with Robert Califf’s mission to improve efficiency on behalf of the FDA.
Though still in the review process, the initiative aims to improve the process of developing medical devices and collaboration/communication between the FDA and medical device stakeholders.
Some features of the program include:
- More timely premarket interactions
- Enhancement of participant experience during design and development
- Offering “solutions-focused engagement” between FDA and stakeholders
The pilot will be completely voluntary. Plans can still change or become undone by the FDA after the public hearing later this month.
We’ll have a better idea of what this looks like for regulation at that time. Definitely something to keep your eye on.
AI Predicts Cardiac Arrhythmia
Determining the date of death from cardiac arrest seems like it would require a crystal ball.
As of now, doctors only use volume and mass in cardiac image analysis to determine the risk level of arrhythmia in patients.
A study out of John Hopkins reveals they have been missing out on some of the most vital information available as shown by its newly developed deep learning technology.
Researchers developed an algorithm to identify patients at risk for cardiac death and predict when it will happen. The team used hundreds of contrast-enhanced images of cardiac scarring to train the algorithm to recognize patterns previously unavailable to doctors.
The results from Survival Study of Cardiac Arrhythmia Risk (SSCAR) have shown to be more accurate than doctors and have also been validated in tests with independent cohorts with a range of cardiac histories.
Next up, the team is working on building more algorithms for other cardiac diseases. Soon, the technology could be used in other areas of medicine that lean on visual diagnoses.
The study was published in Nature Cardiovascular Research.
Looking forward to seeing the MedTech Innovator crew (as well as all the partners and startups) here in Houston for the MTI Road Tour on Thursday.
Very truly yours,
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Rules are rules, but are they always necessary? Short answer: Yes!
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