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Medical device major Medtronic plc (MDT - Free Report) recently received FDA approval for its set of cardiac rhythm and heart failure devices that offer modern diagnostic imaging services.

According to the company, patients with Medtronic’s SureScanMR-conditional pacemakers, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) and cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillators (CRT-Ds) would now have access to 3 and 1.5 Tesla (T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans for any part of the body.

We take a note that, MRI is an important imaging technology to detect conditions such as stroke, cancer, Alzheimer`s disease, muscle, bone and joint pain. 3T MRI enables better image quality, better diagnosisand reduced scan durationcompared to 1.5T scans. Around 12–16% of patients with cardiac implanted devices have a condition in which MRI is prescribed every year. However, patients with devices were barred from undergoing MRI scans to avoid a potential interaction between the MRI and the device function.

Medtronic presently offers more options for ICD patients undergoing device replacement surgery, enabling MRI access for a broader base of patients. The approval for MRI conditional scanning at both 1.5 and 3T allow patients to have improved access to MRI at a time and place most appropriate for their care. And with 3T scanning, physicians and radiologists can detect soft tissues while diagnosing serious conditions, often involving the brain and spine. 3T scanners offer faster examination and higher resolution images compared to 1.5T scanners.

Due to a growing incidence of heart failure and cardiac ailments, a Mordor Intelligence report states that the global cardiac rhythm management device market is expected reach a worth of $25.5 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 4.8%.

For quite some time, the Cardiac Rhythm and Heart Failure divisions at Medtronic have been striving to help patients get the required cardiac device therapies and have access to diagnostic imaging technology. We believe that the FDA approval will drive the company’s capability to tap in on this growing cardiac rhythm market opportunity and fulfill unmet cardiac patient needs.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Medtronic currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the medical product sector include GW Pharmaceuticals plc (GWPH - Free Report) , Quidel Corp. (QDEL - Free Report) and NuVasive, Inc. (NUVA - Free Report) . Both GW Pharmaceuticals and Quidel sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while NuVasive carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

GW Pharmaceuticals surged 85.1% year to date compared to the S&P 500’s 4.34% over the same period. The company’s four-quarter average earnings surprise is 41.6%.

Quidel rallied 15% in the past one year, higher than the S&P 500’s 5.3% gain. Over the next five years, the stock is estimated to record earnings growth rate of 20%, higher than the industry average of 14.8%.

NuVasive’s shares soared 33.5% over the past one year, compared to the S&P 500’s 5.3%. Over the next five years, the stock is expected to see 16.7% earnings growth, compared to the industry average of 14.8%. It has a trailing four-quarter average earnings surprise of 19%.

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