• How Nanotech Could Boost Breast Cancer Detection

    Scientists have developed an innovative “electronic skin” that can detect and image small lumps in a woman’s breast that normal manual exams miss, allowing for earlier detection of breast cancer.The device has been tested on a breast model made of silicone, and allows doctors to see smaller lumps, and image them to understand whether or not the lump is cancerous, according to a statement from American Chemical Society.The electronic skin is made out of nanoparticles and polymers that can image...
  • Why Google's Foray into Quantum Physics Could Reshape Medtech

    Google is on the verge of beginning the design and construction of their own hardware for a quantum computer, a machine designed to use quantum physics to solve problems that conventional computers cannot.Image of a quantum coreThe benefits of quantum computing machines are still being discovered, but the general understanding is that a machine powered by quantum physics can solve problems, process data, and execute algorithms much faster than a conventional machine. This is because qubits can...
  • 7 of the Most Audacious Medtech Predictions

    Sometimes, being audacious can be a good thing. After all, the word simply means “showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks” according to the Oxford dictionary.Think of President John F. Kennedy’s famous words from 1961: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”Medtech has its own idealists these days making moonshot predictions. Here are seven of the...
  • Did Apple Just Make the Fitness Tracker Obsolete?

    It turns out that the upcoming Apple Watch includes fitness tracking ability that could set it beyond the Fitbit, Jawbone, and other devices on the market.Apple Watch users will be able to capture their own heartbeat and send it to others. (Image courtesy of Apple.)Apple CEO Tim Cook among many other things touted the Apple Watch as a "comprehensive health and fitness companion" during a Tuesday morning unveiling that also included the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus—as well as an Apple Pay...
  • The Renewed Importance of Medical Device Startups

    The economic crisis of 2008 and regulatory pressures has hit medical device startups hard, making it increasingly difficult for them to translate their ideas into commercially viable products that pass regulatory muster.In the past several years, however, software startups in the consumer tech industry have thrived. This year, thousands of software developers will produce more than $30 billion worth in apps, as the shrinking costs of computing software and small-scale manufacturing generate...
  • How a Medtech Engineer Became an Entrepreneur

    An engineer with 25 years of experience in the medical device industry, Robert Torgerson decided to change career paths in 2013 by creating his own company: a medical-grade fiber specialist named RxFiber LLC (Windsor, CA).Now the CEO of that firm, Torgerson must be doing something right: the company has recently won two awards and their technology was featured in a presentation at the annual Society for Biomaterials meeting. Last year, the firm’s novel microfiber, RxFibron HT, won UBM Canon’s...
  • The Technology Making Telepathy a Reality

    A team of international researchers have built a human-to-human, brain-to-brain interface that will allow two humans to consciously communicate with each other without any additional social cues.The development—reported in ExtremeTech and recently published in PLoS ONE—is one of several recent examinations into devices that can read brain activity, but the first of its kind to establish a communication connection without speech. Recently, one researcher attached with a brain-computer interface...
  • New Software Might Make Google Glass a Personal Health Tool

    Google Glass could become a personal health tool. Despite eschewing biomarker capabilities, researchers are investigating how the head-mounted technology can collect personal health information by using visual and gyroscopic detections.Research groups at Affective Computing Group in the MIT Media Lab and Georgia Institute of Technology have completed a test of sensors embedded in Google Glass to track the wearer’s physiological signals. Bioglass gathers data by using gyroscopic...
  • Signs You're a Medtech Engineer: Readers Chime In

    We recently put together a featured titled "20 Signs You Are a Medtech Engineer," and asked our audience for feedback. Here are some of the amusing submissions we have received thus far:Image courtesy of Museum of HealthcareWhen left alone in your doctor's examination room, you look through the drawers and play with the Otoscope. You yell at the TV when the doctors on TV shows are using the equipment incorrectly. You explain to your primary care doctor the how to obtain more reliable...
  • 20 Signs You Are a Medtech Engineer

    Here at Qmed, we hear a lot of industry insiders joke about the quirks of being a medtech engineer. Here are 20 gems on the subject:You have the same type of notebook as your first graders, but you call yours an "engineering notebook." Catheter scale image courtesy of Creganna Tactx Medical.You don't speak French, but you know what French catheter sizes are. Although you know a good deal about medicine, the only thing you can diagnose is caffeine withdrawal. You find catheters...
  • Will Apple's Medical Data Be Safe?

    The recent leak of risqué celebrity photos from the iCloud has cast doubts on the security of the Apple's forthcoming HealthKit health-tracking platform, which will formally debut, along with the iPhone 6, at a press conference on September 9. The Cupertino-based company could also possibly introduce the iWatch in the event, although some pundits expect that product to be announced later in the year.In any event, HealthKit, Apple's all new cloud-based health information platform, will be a...
  • How Sound Can Detect Cancer

    Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Pennsylvania State University and Carnegie Mellon University have devised a “gentler” way to identify cancer cells, using sound waves, according to a statement by MIT.Their dime-sized device could be used to detect the extremely rare tumor cells that circulate in cancer patients’ blood, helping doctors predict whether a tumor is going to spread.The technology uses acoustic transducers to sort cells as they move through the...
  • Designing for Biocompatibility, Sterilization, and Cleaning

    A conference track at MEDevice San Diego focusing on an end-to-end product development strategy for engineering and manufacturing will include a presentation titled “Planning for Product Validations: Designing for Biocompatibility, Sterilization, and Cleaning.” Given by Emily Mitzel, a laboratory manager at Nelson Laboratories (Salt Lake City), the talk will discuss material selection and processing factors that affect biocompatibility, what developers should know about designing for...
  • Wearables: Communications, Miniaturization Challenges Abound

    For wearable medical diagnostic devices to transition from the lab to the patient, engineers must overcome several distinct technological hurdles. First and foremost, they must integrate wireless communications and create miniaturized and flexible substrates.At the MEDevice San Diego conference on Wednesday, September 10 from 4:30–5:00 p.m., Fred Beyette, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Cincinnati, will take up these challenges in a presentation titled “...
  • How Strides Are Being Made in 3-D Printing Blood Vessels

    Progress has been slow in the realm of 3-D printing living tissue and organs. An area of particular frustration has been that of blood vessel development. But the situation is changing, thanks to a team of engineers who recently made significant progress toward the creation of blood vessels using a 3-D bioprinting technique.Brigham and Women's Hospital researchers were able to create artificial blood vessels by using hydrogel constructs combined with 3-D bioprinting technology. The research...
  • Have Strong Opinions on Medtech? We've Got Your Soapbox.

    Do you believe Obamacare will be disastrous for medtech? Are you excited about the potential impact of 3-D printing on the medical device industry? Do you want to publicly demand consistency and predictability from FDA? Do you have passion and strong opinions on issues affecting the medical device industry but don’t have a soapbox?Then we want you.UBM Canon is seeking a diverse array of speakers for a new project, “Medtech Sounds Off: A Forum for Ideas, Innovation, and Opinions,” that will be...
  • Assembly Moves Back Home and Gets High Tech

    The field of contract medical device assembly has changed significantly in the past five years, according to Amit Arora, global market development manager at Nordson EFD (East Providence, RI). “Product features that were either too complex or cost prohibitive for companies five to seven years ago are slowly becoming mainstream.” As a result, firms providing contract assembly work for medical device companies are stepping up their game.Chris Mazelin, marketing manager at Specialty...
  • Smartphone App Can Detect Jaundice in Newborns

    An app called BiliCam uses a smartphone’s camera and flash in conjunction with a color calibration card to diagnose jaundice in infants. A common condition in infants—especially those born prematurely, jaundice symptoms are typically mild for most babies. In some cases, however, jaundice can cause severe harm and be potentially be fatal to the infant if left untreated.Skin that turns yellow can be a telltale sign of jaundice, and is a possible indication that the newborn is not eliminating the...
  • First Functioning Organ Grown in Living Animal

    Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have successfully grown a fully functioning organ from transplanted laboratory-created cells in a living animal. While researchers have grown organs in controlled lab environments, this marks the first time that an organ has been created within a living mammal.Researchers created a thymus, an organ located next to the heart that produces important immune cells, known as T cells, which are vital for guarding against disease.The scientists were able to...
  • Watch Out for These 3 Common Medical Packaging Mistakes

    Image: DDL Inc.Packaging has come a long way in the medical device industry, especially since the release of ISO 11607 in 1997. Yet despite an increasing focus on sterile packaging design and selection since then, medical device companies still fall victim to some common mistakes that jeopardize package integrity. Here are three common mistakes to avoid.The medical device is not correctly sized to the packaging. Sterility breaches in the primary packaging can be a dangerous consequence of...