• How IBM's Watson Could Make a Difference in Medical Imaging

    Researchers at the high tech giant are retooling imaging software so that the Watson supercomputer can draw insights from medical images.  Nancy CrottiAvicenna is the code name for the Watson-empowered medical imaging software that IBM is developing. (Image courtesy of IBM)IBM researchers are preparing to take software that enables its supercomputer Watson to “see” and “read” images into the realm of real patient data.IBM (Armonk, NY) obtained the software in October through its $1...
  • Could This Virtual ‘Guide Dog’ Help the Visually Impaired?

    The new technology, developed at MIT, was designed to process 3-D camera data, and could help visually impaired patients navigate the world using an innovatively designed braille interface.Kristopher SturgisThe system includes a braille interface that users could use that communicates with the navigation system and conveys to the user information about obstacles in their environment around them. (Image courtesy of MIT)Those suffering from impaired vision may soon be navigating the world in...
  • Meet the 2016 MD&M West Innovation Prize Winner

    Product Creation Studio won over innovation tour attendees at the Anaheim, CA show with a story of innovative design. Qmed StaffThe LT-300, which Product Creation Studio designed for LumiThera (Image courtesy of Product Creation Studio)Product Creation Studio over several years worked with a company called LumiThera to develop a device that uses low-level light therapy (also called photobiomodulation) to treat age-related macular degeneration. The result of the work—the LT-300—wowed...
  • Philips Could Have an IVD Blockbuster in the Works

    The global in vitro diagnostic test market could exceed $10 billion by 2021, says research and consulting firm GlobalData. And a new hand-held concussions test in the works could give Philips a larger slice of the pie. Nancy CrottiThe handheld concussions test under development will be based on Philips’ Minicare I-20 system. (Image courtesy of Royal Philips)A hand-held blood test to diagnose mild concussions could boost Royal Philips’ share of the in-vitro diagnostic testing market, according...
  • What to Do When Standards Don't Exist

    It is a fact that technology typically evolves faster than standards. A regulatory specialist provides advice on what to do when developing a technology not covered by a specific standard."Moses Breaking the Tables of the Law" (1659) by Rembrandt. (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin)Brian BuntzRegulation can sometimes lag behind the development of novel medical technologies but standards can be even slower. “Stent grafts were approved way before standards related to them existed,” said Brandon Davis of MED...
  • How Linux Can Help Make Medical Devices More Secure

    The open source operating system can help medical device companies improve product security.Brian BuntzMedical device cybersecurity is a “growing concern,” FDA declared while announcing its latest guidance documents related to the subject. The topic has also been getting a considerable amount of attention in the past five years since security researcher Jay Radcliffe hacked his insulin pump on stage at a Black Hat conference in 2011. More recently, infusion pumps have emerged as having...
  • LA Times Slams FDA Over MAUDE Database

    FDA’s method for tracking medical device–related adverse events is so antiquated that it can take years for the agency to detect serious problems such as duodenoscope-related infections, reports the LA Times.Qmed StaffPictures of a contaminated Olympus TJF-Q180V closed-channel duodenoscope. The O-ring shows signs of wear, and the actuator-side area is heavily covered with brown scale. (Image from the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee report)...
  • John Kasich: A Conservative Approach to Healthcare?

        Ohio Gov. John Kasich has taken heat from fellow conservatives for his decision to expand Medicaid in Ohio under the Affordable Care Act. The Weekly Standard says it is a stretch for Kasich to claim that he rejected Obamacare, even as he took advantage of one of its major measures to expand health insurance to more of the poor. Kasich has called for repealing and replacing Obamacare with a "conservative approach" that frees market forces to make the system more...
  • New Packaging System Can Shift Gears at the Push of the Button

    A new medical band sealer from OK International Corp.'s OKSealer division can accommodate up to 15 recipes for any heat sealable material.    The Supersealer MBS (Image courtesy of OK International Corp.'s OKSealer division)Brian Buntz Packaging specialist OKSealer (Marlborough, MA) is launching novel packaging technology at MD&M West (Booth #2154) designed to enable medical device companies to change packaging materials quickly and easily....
  • An Interview with Ekso Bionics CEO Nate Harding

    To learn what the company has been up to, we reached out the company’s CEO Nate Harding, who was also instrumental in developing the company’s technology.Kristopher SturgisEkso Bionics (Richmond, CA) is a pioneer in the field of exoskeleton technology, having been co-founded in 2005 by the then engineers Nate Harding and Russ Angold and the UC Berkeley professor Homayoon Kazerooni.This interview with the company's co-founder and CEO Nate Harding touches on the technology's past, likely future,...
  • FDA Clears 3-D Printed Skull Implant

    3-D printing technology is a perfect fit for creating head implants that are customized to a user. Recently, the company BioArchitects announced that it had won 510(k) clearance for its patient-specific titanium cranial/craniofacial plate device.Brian BuntzA cranial/craniofacial device from BioArchitects is intended to be used to repair defects in non-load-bearing bones in the head and faced. The implant is affixed to the skull or face using self-tapping titanium screws.  The company...
  • A Next-Gen Lightweight Exoskeleton to Help Paralyzed Walk

    The new prototype weighs just 27 pounds and can be custom-fit to virtually any body type — returning movement to the hips and knees with small motors.Kristopher SturgisIn 2010, medical exoskeleton technology received considerable accolades. Wired magazine declared Berkeley Bionics’ technology (the company was later renamed as Ekso Bionics) to be one of the most significant technologies of the year and Time magazine named the technology as one of the top 50 technologies of the year....
  • Challenges of Laser Micromachining of Hybrid Life-Science Devices

    New laser micromachining technology enables the machining of hybrid metal–polymer medical device components.Doug PulferMany life science devices are constructed as a combination of metals and polymers. Metals offer the benefits of radial strength, memory shape, structural reinforcement, and electrical conductivity. Polymers offer the benefits of biocompatibility, flexibility, electrical insulation and lower cost. It is general practice to use one set of microfabrication methods for metals and a...
  • Smart Clothing: Not for Just Fitness Tracking

    While smart clothing has received attention for its fitness tracking potential, the technology can be a powerful tool for gathering clinical trial research.Brian BuntzSmart clothing was one of the hottest technologies at CES this year. One of the pioneers in the niche, Hexoskin won the CES 2016 Best in Show and Wearable Tech Award.Stuff Magazine proclaimed that Hexoskin technology outperforms traditional wearable devices. Earlier this year, the company announced that its...
  • Google-Smart Surgical Robots

    Researchers are getting closer to cryopreserving organs. Here’s how.Qmed StaffRobots have been used for what seems like ages for surgery, but there has been debate about the high price tag of Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci robot and whether it is truly better at operating than human surgeons.Now, Verb Surgical (backed by Google-parent Alphabet) is partnering with Johnson & Johnson to make robot surgeons smarter. Using its background in artificial intelligence, information sorting, image...
  • Futuristic Medical Technology That Will Amaze You

                The word “amazing" is tossed around a lot, but there are many medical advances in development that are truly incredible, or at least could be in the near future. Qmed StaffA decade from now, if you lose a limb, you may be able to get a replacement that is practically indistinguishable from the original, calling to mind Luke Skywalker's prosthetic arm in The Empire Strikes Back. Further into the future, if you need a replacement organ, you...
  • How Cryopreserving Organs Is Closer to Reality

    (Image courtesy of you me on Flickr)Researchers are getting closer to cryopreserving organs. Here’s how.Qmed StaffA human heart can only survive only four to six hours between a donor’s death and transplant. Livers only do a bit better: 12 hours. And kidneys only last 36 hours.There’s more reason to hope, though, that someday all these organs could be frozen and thawed out at a later date with little damage, ensuring that every organ harvested after someone dies makes it into a living person...
  • 4-D Printing Could Make Replacement Organs

    A group of Harvard University researchers may have brought 4-D printing closer for use in making medical devices and replacement organs.Nancy Crotti    Harvard researchers took inspiration from nature in developing 4-D printedarchitectures. Image courtesy Wyss Institute at Harvard University.Inspired by the way that plants change shape over time in response to environmental stimuli, the researchers devised a mathematical model that determines how a 4-D object must be...
  • Luke Skywalker Prosthetics in a Decade?

    A new Department of Defense program will roll out $60 million to fund technologies designed to measure and record one million neurons simultaneously. One researcher involved in the project says the research could lead to Star Wars–type prosthetics within 10 years.  Kristopher Sturgis    A DARPA project will seek to develop brain–computer interfaces that can stimulate100,000 neurons in the brain. Image from Wikia.The future of neuroscience will be the focus...
  • 10 Electronic Breakthroughs You Should Know

    The field of electronics continues to evolve at an exponential rate despite many pundits’ declaration that Moore’s law is dead. In any event, it is still certainly hard to keep up with all of the advances in the field of electronics. Here, we present an artificially intelligent mobile chip, dissolving implantable electronics, and a host of other advances.Qmed Staff1. A Mobile Chip with AIMIT researchers this week unveiled a new chip designed to enable mobile devices to implement “neural...