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Med-Tech Podcast Explores Future of Single-Use Endoscopy

Technology improvements make single-use endoscopes as effective as reusable devices but without the expensive price tag and infection risk.

Executives with two global medical device companies discuss the future of single-use endoscopy
on the latest episode of DeviceTalks, a popular med-tech podcast.

Ambu A/S CEO Juan Jose Gonzalez and Steven Block, president of Ambu USA, joined host Tom Salemi to share the Danish company’s growth story. They also talked about where they think the market for single-use bronchoscopes is headed in the next five to 10 years.

Technology improvements make single-use endoscopes as effective as reusable devices but without the expensive price tag and infection risk, Gonzalez said.

“Technology is moving so fast,” he added. “And I’m talking about technology that powers single-use – sensors, image-enhancement software, artificial intelligence, monitors, lighting, material science. Every year, all the trends to move to single-use become stronger.”

“There is just no reason to use a reusable product,” said Block, who predicted that over the next decade single-use scopes will account for most of the endoscopes sold.

The episode also features Dr. Brian Dunkin, chief medical officer of Boston Scientific Endoscopy, and Dave Pierce, president of Boston Scientific's endoscopy business.

Dunkin acknowledged single-use can be a challenging sell given the familiarity clinicians have with their reusable scopes. Once doctors use the device, however, they become receptive to the platform.

“If you’ve never seen the scope, you meet it with skepticism,” he added. “There is this skepticism until they get it in their hands and use it, and then I think that skepticism goes quickly away.”

Click here to listen to the podcast, which is about an hour in length.

Ambu launched the world’s first single-use flexible bronchoscope in 2009. In 2020, Ambu expects to sell more than 1 million single-use endoscopes.

Boston Scientific’s disposable duodenoscope became the first to be cleared for marketing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December 2019. Ambu received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its single-use duodenoscope in July 2020.

DeviceTalks is a weekly podcast devoted to news, commentary and insights from med-tech industry leaders. In recent weeks, Salemi – who also writes for the publication Mass Device – has explored everything from venture capital in med-tech to regulatory news out of the FDA and the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

His guests have included many big names in healthcare. They include Stryker CEO Kevin Lobo and Renee Ryan, chief executive of bioelectronic medicine startup Cala health.

Earlier this year, DeviceTalks – which launched in 2013 – was named one of the top 10 medical device podcasts to follow and boasts a sizable social media reach. The podcast is distributed on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other popular platforms.

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