Wearable or portable healthcare technology is a sector we first visited back in June 2013 and it became timely again because the FDA has just issued guidance about the use of some of these low risk devices. By low risk, the FDA means products such as exercise equipment, monitoring devices and software programs that are intended to help people stay healthy and reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.

Dexcom Seven Plus courtesy of dexcom.com

Dexcom Seven Plus courtesy of dexcom.com

Not part of the guidance are more invasive devices such as implants or anything using lasers or radiation.

There is no doubt that these devices are making an important contribution to healthcare and the lifestyles of the consumers who are using, or wearing, them. These devices range from a continuous monitoring system for glucose to a flexible at-home hemodialysis device.

We looked at four small cap companies in this space back last time. Let’s see what they are doing now.

San Diego-based DexCom, Inc. (Nasdaq: DXCM) just received FDA approval for the first medical app system–the DexCom Share System–for glucose monitoring. The system transmits data from a small sensor inserted just under the skin to a monitor and the app downloads the data from the web. DexCom is also the creator of the SEVEN PLUS continuous monitoring system for ambulatory patients with diabetes. DXCM closed June 14 2013 at $22.05 with a market cap of $1.57 billion. It closed Jan. 23 at $57.94, down 17 cents for the day, with a market cap of $4.4 billion. Its 52-week trading range is $28.09 – $62.85.

Another similar company, Philadelphia-based Echo Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ECTE) recently submitted a pre-submission package to the FDA for their Symphony Continuous Glucose Monitoring System. Rather than having it approved for at-home use, the company is seeking approval for use in critical care units of hospitals. ECTE closed June 14 2013 at $2.78 with a market cap of $175.86 million. It closed Jan. 23 at $2.07 for the day, with a market cap of $25.77 million. Its 52-week trading range is $0.39 – $4.02.

Other technology companies are focusing on outside monitoring. Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT), based in Minneapolis, MN, helps patients by offering “connected” care through their medical devices. Medtronic offers their OptiVol® Fluid Status Monitoring in many of their cardiac devices to help detect fluid build-up in the thoracic cavity. They are also working on providing real time data for patients who use their continuous monitoring system for glucose. MDT closed June 13 at $52.92,  up $0.14 for the day, with a market cap of $53.77 billion. Its 52-week trading range is $36.91 – 53.83.

Lawrence, MA-based NxStage Medical (Nasdaq: NXTM) offers a NxStage System One, a portable hemodialysis system that’s been cleared for home use for patients with chronic or acute renal failure. NXTM closed June 14 2013 at $14.15 with a market cap of $845.28 million. It closed Jan. 23 at $18.90 for the day, with a market cap of $1.17 billion. Its 52-week trading range is $10.69 – $18.98.

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