Fitbit hints at FDA regulation, as it launches corporate wellness, population health biz

Corporate wellness, and broader population health initiatives along those lines, is a small part of Fitbit’s business right now.  However, the dominant wearable player is preparing to become a powerhouse tapping into the massive markets generated by major employers and insurers.  Those efforts may show more promise in broader health improvement than Fitbit’s retail consumer sales given their ability to back up the technology with monitoring, incentives and even disincentives.

Health, environmental tracker could head off asthma attacks without drugs

Currently, asthma treatment involves avoiding irritants and taking medication to relieve symptoms. Researchers at North Carolina State University have created a wearable system that more concretely monitors potential environmental irritants and could predict and potentially prevent asthma attacks.

China FDA logs more than 320,000 device adverse medical reports in 2015

China FDA has released an updated tally of adverse event reporting for medical devices that found more than 320,000 incidents were noted in 2015 with 80% from users of medical equipment.  A separate report linked 184 deaths to incidents involving devices.

Toyota reaffirms med tech R&D commitment with motorized wheelchair deal

Automotive giant Toyota Motor is teaming up with Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway, to create a next-generation wheelchair for disabled people and the elderly.  The move comes after Toyota announced last year that it would sink $1 billion into artificial intelligence and robotics.

MIT makes continuous manufacturing unit small enough to fit in a pharmacy

More and more drug makers are giving continuous manufacturing a try, seeing it as the future in small molecule drug production, in part, because the plants for the process are much smaller than those for batch processing.  Now, scientists at MIT have a prototype of a continuous manufacturing device so small it might be used by pharmacies to produce their own generic drugs.

Johns Hopkins researchers create accurate 3-D virtual heart to predict arrhythmia risk

The standard of care for assessing the risk of recurrent arrhythmia may be on the verge of shifting.  The current approach is typically based on somewhat imprecise blood pumping measurements. But Johns Hopkins University researchers have published results showing that their 3-D virtual heart assessment tool is more accurate than that approach

US, EU Look to Mutually Recognize GMP Inspections by January 2017

The US and EU say they have made more progress on harmonizing good manufacturing practice (GMP) inspections and could reach a deal by January 2017, according to a report on the 15th round of negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).