• Why You Should Care About a Plant on Twitter

    If Twitter users could take care of a rose, perhaps they could also help take care of people, says Jeff McCloud of Ximedica, whose colleague Joe Gordon is speaking at MD&M East.Jeff McCloud, XimedicaTwitter users get to manage the care of a plant through the a "critical design" art installation. (Image courtesy of Save the Rose)Save the Rose has captured my attention. In this "critical design" art installation, the twitterverse determines the life or death of a rose. This rose isn...
  • Telemedicine Has Turned Into a Free-for-All

    Apple, Google, Philips, Withings, and many more companies are taking the space by storm. Meanwhile, some traditional telecommunications companies could be falling behind.Offerings Philips touted at ATA included a dongle that can connect to glucose meters and upload data to an eCareCompanion tablet that also uploads the information via the web to an eCareCoordinator that can be monitored by their health provider. (Image by senior editor Chris Newmarker)Nancy CrottiThe...
  • Now You Can Test Your Urine With Your Smartphone

    Stanford engineers create a simple and reliable urinalysis system that can be used at home using a standard dipstick that changes color, and a smartphone to analyze the results.Kristopher SturgisThis illustration shows a urine sample being loaded onto the test, with the smartphone above. (Image courtesy of Stanford)For decades the standard dipstick test has been used to test urine for the presence of different biomarkers like proteins, glucose, and pH balance to help doctors detect infection....
  • Why Medtech's Cybersecurity Problem Is Really Bad

    A new report gives healthcare systems a failing grade on medical device cybersecurity, warns of consequences to patients and industry. Varun SaxenaHospitals are “hyper-focused” on protecting patient data from hackers, but are inadequately protecting patient health from cyberattacks on medical devices, says a report from Baltimore-based security firm Independent Security Evaluators.The incidence of crippling ransomware attacks in Los Angeles and across the country demonstrates the need...
  • FDA Has Important New Views on 3-D Printed Devices

    The U.S. agency’s new “leapfrog” draft covers device design, manufacturing, and design testing for standard and “patient-matched” devices. Nancy CrottiFDA has released “leapfrog” draft guidance for the rapidly evolving world of 3-D printed medical devices.The agency based the guidance on input from device manufacturers, 3-D printing companies, and academics who testified at a 2014 hearing. The document covers device design, manufacturing, and design testing. For the purposes of the draft,...
  • Siemens Has Big Plans for This New MR Tech

    The German multinational is working with Case Western Reserve University to bring magnetic resonance “fingerprinting” to market—potentially taking the technology to a whole new level.Nancy CrottiMR fingerprinting seeks to identify individual tissues and diseases, similar to how a fingerprint identifies an individual person. (Image courtesy of Siemens) Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have introduced an advanced type of imaging called magnetic resonance fingerprinting (MRF) in...
  • This New Laser Tool Enables Coatings at the Nano Level

    The new method was designed to enable coating processes to be controlled in real time—providing short laser pulses that can coat electronic medical devices and pharmaceutical products with layers in the nanometer range.Kristopher SturgisThe polarization and intensity of the laser pulses can then be finely tuned depending on the thickness of the layer being applied. (Image courtesy of Vienna University of Technology)When it comes to designing electronic devices with layers at the nanometer scale...
  • Who Would You Trust With Your Wearable Tech Data?

    Trust could be a major hurdle to overcome, according to a new PricewaterhouseCooper study.Arundhati ParmarThere’s an explosive growth in the use of wearables—from 21% in 2014 to 49% today, according to results of a new study that shows the proportion of people that own one wearable.Interestingly enough, the study—PricewaterhouseCooper’s The Wearable Life—proves that health is the No. 1 factor driving consumer to buy a wearable. The firm surveyed 1000 respondents aged 18-64, equally...
  • Why Telemedicine Is Gathering Steam in the U.S.

    More health providers are recognizing that virtual care can increase patient volumes, assist in care coordination, and more, according to a new survey from KPMG. But there are still significant hurdles. Arundhati Parmar(Infographic courtesy of KPMG)A new survey shows that a quarter of U.S. providers believe that their virtual care programs can be sustained financially, but more importantly they are improving efficiency, patient volumes and loyalty.The survey was conducted by tax, audit and...
  • Why Laser Welding Matters for Neurovascular Catheters

    Interventional neurology surgery is a major frontier when it comes to medical device miniaturization, and laser welding has an important role to play. Kevin Hartke, ResoneticsEngineer holding a 75 micron diameter nitinol wire assembly (left), high magnification view of the laser weld (right). (Images courtesy of Resonetics)For over 20 years, laser welding has been acknowledged as an important joining method in the medical device industry, using the native materials only without the use of any...
  • The Challenges of Bringing Big Data to Medtech

    Medical devices are producing all this data. So what are we going to do with it? Stephanie Kute at the nonprofit Battelle research institute has some thoughts.Chris NewmarkerStephanie KuteA medical device engineering veteran of more than 12 years, Stephanie Kute presently sees huge potential when it comes to bringing big data tools to medtech. She’s seeking to turn her vision into reality through her present job: manager of advanced analytics and health research at the nonprofit Battelle...
  • How Collagen Could Be Used for Regenerating Tissue

    A new study from Stanford University shows how collagen, an essential protein for living tissue, transitions between properties—providing insights on how the protein could be used in regenerative medicine.Kristopher SturgisThis transmission electron microscope image shows collagen fibers in the lung tissue of a mammal. (Image public domain, courtesy of Louisa Howard at Dartmouth College) It’s no secret that collagen plays a vital role in the structure and stability of tissue and cells...
  • These Electrodes Melt in Your Brain, Not in Your Hand

        The fully bioresorbable electrodes are thin, flexible neural electrode arrays made of patterned silicon nanomembranes. (Illustration courtesy of University of Pennsylvania)The devices may have implications for epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, depression, chronic pain, and peripheral nervous system conditions, and may improve postoperative monitoring.Nancy CrottiResearchers at the University of Pennsylvania have invented an implantable electrode that melts in...
  • Why Meaningful Mobile Health Is So Hard

    There are already many information-gathering medical device technologies out there that would be highly useful for big hospital systems. But there is a major hurdle presently standing in the way, says Chad Konchak, director of clinical analytics at the Chicago-area NorthShore University HealthSystem.Chris NewmarkerChad KonchakAs head of clinical analytics at NorthShore University HealthSystem, Chad Konchak has made great strides using smart use of data to streamline workflow at the four-...
  • Mobile Health Could Get Help From a Thing Grandmas Love

    It’s called embroidery. Ohio State University researchers have designed circuits that can be embroidered onto fabric with 0.1 mm precision.Kristopher Sturgis“These antennas will wirelessly transmit the sensed information to handheld devices like smartphones and tablets," says OSU research scientist Asimina Kiourti. (Image courtesy of Ohio State University)The market for wearable technologies continues to grow at a rapid pace, as developers look for new ways to integrate technology...
  • These Researchers Have Skin in the Game

    They’ve invented a polymer that could erase eye bags, improve skin moisture, and help patients with dermatitis.Nancy CrottiSays MIT professor Daniel Anderson: “It’s an invisible layer that can provide a barrier, provide cosmetic improvement, and potentially deliver a drug locally to the area that’s being treated.” (Image courtesy of Melanie Gonick/MIT)Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have invented an elastic, wearable polymer that can reduce eye bags and may someday deliver medication to help...
  • These Parents Are Tired of Waiting for Medtech, FDA

    Frustrated parents of kids with type 1 diabetes are going the do-it-yourself route, and making their own artificial pancreases.Nancy CrottiParents of diabetic children are the force behind the dual-chamber bionic pancreas dubbed the iLet. (Image courtesy of Boston University)Frustrated with how long it’s taking FDA to approve any manufacturer’s artificial pancreas, parents of children with type 1 diabetes are taking matters into their own hands.The Wall Street Journal reports that...
  • You Can Now Image Cells in Amazing Real Time 3-D

    Stanford researchers have discovered a new imaging method that provides a three dimensional view of the cells and molecules in a living animal in real time—an invention that could lead to improved forms of cancer detection and treatment.Kristopher SturgisGold nanorods can be viewed in real time within the blood vessels of a live mouse ear. (Image courtesy of Stanford)The recent work comes from some of the brightest minds of Bio-X, a Stanford University program designed to bring together...
  • How MIT Is Helping to Stop the Zika Virus' Spread

    MIT, Harvard University, and other research institutions are paving the way for a practical and cost effective Zika diagnostic tool for widespread use.Kristopher SturgisThe black cartridge contains the paper-based Zika diagnostic test. (Photo courtesy of MIT)A new diagnostic test consists of a black cartridge containing a paper that can diagnose the Zika virus within just a few hours, according to the MIT researchers who created it.The new test was designed to help doctors and clinicians...
  • Google Has Its Sights on Smart Eye Implants

    Its device would free people over 40 from bifocals and replace lenses damaged by cataracts.Nancy CrottiGoogle's patent application describes a lens that “can be installed within a flexible polymeric material shaped to conform to the inside surface of a lens capsule of an eye.” (Image from Google's patent application)Google has its eyes on an smart lens that can be implanted in the eye and might improve wearers’ vision.An application for the device filed in 2014 with the U.S. Patent and...