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U of M to offer master's degree in medical device innovation

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The University of Minnesota will prepare students for jobs in the medical device industry with a new program that offers students a master's degree in medical device innovation.

The Associated Press reports that the program, which will enroll its first class in June, is in the Technological Leadership Institute. That is part of the university's College of Science and Engineering. The curriculum is designed to prepare students to work in the developing industry and give them a competitive edge in launching their careers.

Medical device companies employ over 250,000 people in Minnesota. Some of the top device manufacturers have operations in Minnesota, including Medtronic, 3M, St. Jude Medical and Boston Scientific.

Last year, WCCO reported that more than 400 of those companies are based in the state, including numerous start-ups.

On Thursday, the Business Journal reported on a clinical trial of a new medical device to treat sleep apnea from one of them. Minnesota-based Inspire Medical Inc. makes a pacemaker-sized implantable device for obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that causes patients to intermittently stop breathing during sleep. The device sends an electrical impulse to a nerve located below the tongue and prevents blockage of a patient’s airway. Study results published in the New England Journal of Medicine found two thirds of patients benefited from the treatment.

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