• Device Hacking May Have Become a Homeland Security Issue

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is apparently taking a greater interest in medical device cybersecurity, if a report from Reuters is to be believed.Reuters recently cited a “senior official at the agency” saying Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, or ICS-CERT, is investigating about two dozen cases of suspected medtech cybersecurity flaws. There have been no reported hacking instances, but Homeland Security officials consider the threat great...
  • When Materials Choices Are Not Intuitive

    The look and feel of technology is evolving at a breathtaking clip. Consider how far we have come: it wasn’t long ago that most desktop computers were colored in an unimaginative shade of gray. Early cell phones, too, were roughly the same color and roughly the size of a brick.Now picture the iPad and iPhone and their chic use of glass and aluminum. Clever material choices, coupled with the miniaturization of electronics, have enabled substantial breakthroughs in technology’s ability to evoke a...
  • The Scariest Medical Device Recalls of 2014

    Any product recall is bad. But that is especially true in medtech—where the life of patients is often at stake.Dos and Don'ts (Slideshow)Whether it’s striving for simplicity in design or recognizing that people are capable of countless mistakes while using something, Qmed has collected feedback from our audience and added it to our list of dos and don’ts.Read on to find out more.The causes for such dangerous and potentially deadly errors leading to Class I recalls are varied, whether...
  • How to Spark a Revolution in Medical Plastics

    The medical device industry has been pretty much using the same plastics and polymers for decades: workhorse materials including polyurethanes; polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE (marketed in other fields as Teflon by Dupont); and polyethylene terephthalate (sometimes marketed as Dacron) have been medtech mainstays. Michael DruesAnd while Vascular Sciences president Michael Drues thinks such materials have played a commendable role advancing medtech, he can’t help but thinking the industry...
  • Why You Might Not Be Able to Trust Your Local Blood Pressure Kiosk

    These days it’s never been easier to grab a simple blood pressure reading. Blood pressure kiosks have been popping up on almost every corner, from your local drug and grocery stores, to gymnasiums and even hair salons. But according to a recent report from the Food and Drug Administration, that convenience may be coming at the cost of reliable results. Illustration courtesy of FDARecently the FDA issued an advisory over the accuracy of results reported by these blood pressure kiosks,...
  • How to Shrink Implantables Using Piezoelectricity and Ultrasound

    The quest for new technologies that can enable the development of miniaturized medical devices has occupied designers, engineers, and manufacturers for years. Now, researchers at Stanford University have announced that they can miniaturize medical devices using a combination of the piezoelectric effect and ultrasound. Eventually, the researchers foresee that their technology could be used in a host of applications, including neural recording, cardiac mapping, temperature and pressure sensing,...
  • 4 Emerging Sensing Technologies You Need to Know About

    The XPRIZE Foundation has announced the 11 finalists selected for the $2.25-million Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE. The competition was designed to develop breakthrough medical sensing technologies that will enable faster diagnostic processes and more efficient health monitoring.Teams are competing for a $525,000 prize and up to five distinguished awards, each valued at $120,000. Each team was required to submit a technology that will accurately, reliably, and effectively collect meaningful data that...
  • Researchers Rev Up Low-Dose CT

    An unfortunate byproduct of CT scans is the possibility of exposing patients to high doses of radiation, which can increase cancer risk. For that reason, many experts recommend low-dose CT scanners. Unfortunately, low-dose CT scans require a half an hour or more of subsequent image processing time. A new $1.9-million study at the University of Michigan seeks to combat the problem with a new low-dose CT scanning system that can process the CT scans in just five minutes.In a recent news release...
  • What Superfast Wi-Fi Could Mean for Medtech

     This week Samsung announced its plans to develop a 60 GHz Wi-Fi that can operate at speeds five times faster than today’s traditional standard speeds. While to most, this may simply equate to faster download speeds for Youtube videos and downloading music, it could prove truly revolutionary to the medtech industry.  The news follows on the heels of its announcement last year to debut a 5G wireless standard that is slated to debut in 2020.  The tech giant reports that the new Wi-...
  • 5 Highlights of BIOMEDevice San Jose

    Wireless technology for medical devices will be in the spotlight again at BIOMEDevice San Jose, held December 3–4. In addition, the conference portion of the event will tackle topics such as consumerization, mHealth, 3-D printing, and the Internet of Things.1. Consumer Technology's Influence on Medical Device Design Jason FarnanJason Farnan, senior user experience designer at Tandem Diabetes Care (San Diego, CA) will speak at the conference on the design of the t:slim insulin pump. The...
  • What Were 2014's Top Medtech Products and Services?

    We are looking to our readers to help pick the top products and services of the year. Vote on the products below, which have been featured either on Qmed on in the MPMN print magazine this year, or nominate a new product or service.Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.Part Measurement SystemFeatured on the cover of the 2014 January/February issue of MPMN, the Snap one-button measurement system from RAM Optical Instrumentation Inc., a...
  • What a Serious Covidien Recall Should Teach You

    Covidien recently announced a defibrillator electrodes recall, but the Class I-level recall has nothing to do with the mechanical functioning of the electrodes themselves.Dos and Don'ts (Slideshow)Whether it’s striving for simplicity in design or recognizing that people are capable of countless mistakes while using something, Qmed has collected feedback from our audience and added it to our list of dos and don’ts.Read on to find out more.Rather, the case is a tragic example of how...
  • Developing Fully Open-Cell Silicones for Implantable Devices

    Biocompatible, chemically inert, and sterilizable, open-cell silicones made using a new manufacturing process are suitable for both short- and long-term implantable applications.In their quest for new medical device materials, designers, developers, and manufacturers have a choice between open- and closed-cell structures. However, while open-cell materials have a range of advantages over their closed-cell counterparts, one of the most common open-cell materials—polyurethane—is primarily used in...
  • We're Getting Closer to Touch-Sensing Artificial Skin

    Prosthetic technology has made some rather large strides over the years, enabling amputees to adapt more and more to the world around them. Recently, all the buzz has been over developing prosthetics that can restore the ability to touch and feel. It was with this in mind, that Stanford engineers recently developed a new wireless pressure sensor that could lead to touch-sensitive skin for prosthetic limbs.In a news release from Stanford University, details were revealed about the new technology...
  • Robots That Play Well with Others

    While robotic systems have revolutionized assembly, they traditionally haven’t been so good at collaborating with others, meaning non-robotic human workers. In fact, it is often dangerous for people to even be near many assembly robots, which are often housed in cages, as we described in a recent post titled “Will Your Next Coworker Be a Robot?” In addition, such systems have been inflexible and difficult to reprogram.Rensselaer professors Jonas Braasch and John Wen stand next to Baxter in the...
  • Coating Could Fight Bacteria and Clotting in Medical Devices

    When it comes to medtech devices, we’ve certainly come a long way over the last decade or so, but two constant challenges remain: blood clotting and bacterial infections. That is, until a team of Harvard scientists began working toward a solution involving a substance similar to Teflon. Photo depicting two glass slides dipped in blood. While blood sticks to the untreated slide on the left, the slide on the right coated in the repellent materials developed by Harvard scientists emerges...
  • Why the Cloud Matters for Medtech

    The medical device industry seems rather cautious about following other industries and jumping on the cloud computing bandwagon. But the medtech industry has no choice but to embrace the cloud eventually, says Olayinka James, chief information security officer (CISO) for Zimmer Holdings Inc. (Warsaw, IN). James says it is vital for the industry to make sure that appropriate security measures are in place to keep the data safe.Olayinka James will provide advice at MD&M Minneapolis on...
  • How Zimmer Is Managing Cloud Computing

    Look around you. Chances are someone is using cloud computing for one thing or the other. In the home, there are lots of entertainment-related cloud-based applications, like streaming of music and movies. But cloud-based services can also be a productivity booster at the worklplace. Engineers are using the cloud to collaborate remotely. Employees can use the cloud to send large files that are too big to easily send by email. The list of applications is steadily expanding.The use of the cloud in...
  • Google Wants to Help You Video Chat with Doctors

    “Google docs” may be taking on a whole new meaning. Google has begun a trial connecting people seeking online medical advice to a physician or other medical professional for a free live chat.It is but another example of ways Google has been breaking into the healthcare space.5 Ways Google Could Transform Medtech, and Maybe Cheat Death (Slideshow)Google’s cofounders may have downplayed that they’re interested in turning the tech giant into a healthcare company. But their...
  • Will Your Next Coworker Be a Robot?

    For decades, industrial workers and much of the media have been claiming that robots and automation are stealing their jobs. But in the case of Toyota, the opposite has been happening, with the iconic automaker bringing more humans into the mix, leveraging their creativity and problem-solving abilities to progressively optimize their manufacturing operations. I, Robot image from WikipediaToyota has been a manufacturing operations pioneer for a long time. (Ever hear of lean manufacturing?...