The FDA has approved an app-based smart programming device used to discreetly and easily control implants treating for overactive bladder (OAB), chronic fecal incontinence (FI) and non-obstructive urinary retention, medical device maker Medtronic announced yesterday.
Called the InterStim smart programmer and designed for use with Medtronic’s InterStim system, the product consists of a Samsung touch screen device running an app-based platform. With it, patients can adjust the therapy being delivered by multiple implants, while their physicians can access the platform to see a detailed breakdown of their therapy and adjust limits as need be.
“Medtronic pioneered sacral neuromodulation two decades ago and we continue to innovate to improve the patient and physician experience and make it easier for more patients to find effective relief from both OAB and FI with the InterStim system,” Linnea Burman, VP and general manager of the restorative therapies group’s pelvic health and gastric therapies business at Medtronic, said in a statement. “The advanced technology of the smart programmer paves the way for future digital health solutions, like digital symptom tracking, and should give physicians and patients confidence that relief and restored quality of life are possible.”
What’s the impact
Incontinence is both common and treatable with systems such as Medtronics’, but is still embarrassing for the aging adults among whom the condition is more common. The smart programmer offers patients a simple way to reduce the daily burden of these conditions, and does so in a discreet way.
Of note, the programmer also represents another example of how medical companies are tapping Samsung’s devices and its proprietary mobile security platform, Samsung Knox, for their consumer-facing technologies.
“The incorporation of consumer technology in medical device solutions, such as the InterStim system, is not only helping patients integrate these solutions into their daily lives, it’s also empowering clinicians to evolve and digitally transform their practice,” Dr. David Rhew, chief medical officer and VP/GM of enterprise healthcare at Samsung Electronics America, said in a statement. “Medtronic continues to lead the market in these types of healthcare innovations, and we are proud to partner with them to bring these important solutions to patients and clinicians.”
What’s the trend
Medtronic is a fairly substantial manufacturer of medical devices. In the realm of consumer-empowering technologies is likely best known for its Minimed insulin pumps, which a recent analysis found to reduce avoidable hospital admissions among UnitedHealthcare members with diabetes.
Similarly, Samsung’s Galaxy phones were recently announced as the controlling device of the Omnipod Dash Insulin Management System.