Allen Burton, MD, Abbott Divisional Vice President, Medical Director Neuromodulation, discusses Abbott’s latest research and innovation in an interview with SmartTRAK at the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) Annual Meeting held January 13-14, 2022.
To find out more, including about the Company’s new MRI labeling, UnitedHealthCare coverage for DRG, big data and the status of Abbott’s digital initiatives, click on the video below to listen to the interview recorded live at NANS 2022. (30:18 min.) A link to download a complete transcript of the interview is also provided below.
Allen Burton, MD: It's a pleasure to see you, Anne.
This has been an interesting NANS so far, but I think the society's done a good job in terms of holding a conference in the middle of a pandemic. I know you have some exciting research to discuss involving big data and some product news to talk about. But I'm going to start broadly and have you just tell me, what's the big news for Abbott at this year's NANS?
AB: I think we have a couple of exciting things to bring to this year's NANS. In fact, we really have so much going on that it's a matter of prioritizing what do we bring to NANS, what do we emphasize, what do we look for in the next year, what is our cadence? I mean, there is just a lot to really discuss. But the things that have recently happened too, I think, really important things have happened based on some of the technology that we've been working on.
One is that several weeks ago, we got FDA approval for new MRI labeling across our SCS systems. This really is an enormous improvement for our existing SCS systems, and really brings us up either to parity or even to better MRI capabilities than many of our competitors.
Our R&D team worked through a couple of the nuances of our approval, but a couple of things that I think are very important to us is that this MRI capability is backwards compatible for people that already have these systems implanted. And that goes along with our patient-centric approach. We've seen done with other companies that, to get a new, let's say, feature such as MRI compatibility, you have to upgrade your system, or you need a new system that you have to go purchase or get an operation and so on.
Our team has taken a different approach to really create this where this will, for thousands of patients that already have this device implanted, this will also apply to them. So, existing patients, as well as new patients. This FDA approval covers our eight-contact percutaneous leads and our Proclaim IPG batteries. That was the first stage that we took with our MRI efforts with FDA, because that's the most widely implantable system that we have.
So, this affects the largest swath of our patients first. Our MRI team is hard at work, as you can imagine, this is the first thing they've done through FDA, but they have a cadence now, looking across our whole portfolio, where they're working on reproducing this with some of our other leads and some of our other systems and combinations and so on.
But this first improvement in MRI, for us, is really an enormous step. We're very proud of it. Previously, we had some restrictions where the leads could be in the spine. Now ...
To read the entire interview with Dr. Burton, please click the button below to download the complete transcript.
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