• Philips Device Measures Blood Oxygenation With a Camera

    The new medical device accurately measures absolute oxygen saturation of arterial blood using a camera-based monitoring technology that quantifies tiny changes in skin color.Kristopher SturgisResearchers from Royal Philips have published a new study detailing a contactless monitoring device that can detect tiny changes in skin color to measure blood oxygenation levels (SpO₂), a vital sign that is commonly monitored in patients. The device was designed to use a proprietary camera-based...
  • How to Type With Only Your Brain

    Revamped technology out of Stanford University could help people with movement disorders to communicate.Nancy CrottiMonkeys really can type Shakespeare, at 12 words per minute, with the help of brain-sensing technology developed at Stanford University.That technology directly reads brain signals to drive a cursor moving over a keyboard. In a pilot experiment conducted with monkeys, the animals were able to transcribe passages from The New York Times and "Hamlet" at a rate of 12 words per minute...
  • Zimmer Biomet Gets Out of Triple Damages in Patent Case

    The dispute between Zimmer Biomet and Stryker has also been sent back to a lower U.S. federal court for reconsideration of enhanced damages, which were previously hundreds of millions of dollars.Nancy CrottiA federal appeals court has overturned the $228 million in enhanced damages awarded to Stryker in a patent infringement suit against Zimmer Biomet, but upheld a previous ruling that the patents were valid and willfully infringed.The U.S. Supreme Court had sent the case back to the U.S. Court...
  • Former J&J Sales Rep Convicted in Stolen Devices Scheme

    U.S. federal prosecutors have netted convictions and $5 million in restitution in more than 20 cases through "Operation Miami Device."Nancy CrottiA former sales representative at Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon Endosurgery subsidiary was convicted last week on charges of conspiring to transport stolen medical devices in interstate commerce, money laundering, and other charges.A federal judge in Miami convicted Kerri L. Kaley, 50, of Cold Spring Harbor, NY, on seven felony counts in a...
  • New Technique Could Lead to Enhanced Biomedical Imaging

    Researchers from MIT are designing a new imaging system that uses terahertz waves to penetrate deeper into surfaces to provide new high resolution imaging. Kristopher SturgisMIT researchers have created a prototype for a new imaging system that has the ability to image and identify the printed pages of a closed book, thanks to a system based on a band of electromagnetic waves known as terahertz radiation. Barmak Heshmat, a research scientist at MIT and one of the corresponding authors...
  • Abbott, Alere to Seek Mediation in Merger Dispute

    Alere, though, appears to be concerned about how fast its lawsuit is resolved. A multibillion-dollar medical device deal is on the line. Chris NewmarkerAlere and Abbott have agreed to seek mediation over Alere's lawsuit in Delaware Chancery Court to compel Abbott to complete its planned $6 billion merger, according to Reuters. Reuters cited court filings showing the two medtech companies agreeing to use former judge William Chandler, though Alere is concerned over Chandler not...
  • 3-D Graphene Shows Promise For Bone Implants

    Researchers from Rice University have welded together nanoscale sheets of graphene to form solid materials suitable for bone implants.Kristopher SturgisRice University researchers have designed a new method to create highly complex shapes in a matter of minutes using graphite molds, which could be a simpler process than specialty metals. Chandra Sekhar Tiwary, postdoctoral research associate at Rice and co-lead author on the work, says that graphene offers remarkable strength as a material.“...
  • Meet The Octobot: The World’s First Autonomous Soft Robot

    Researchers designed the new 3-D printed robot entirely from soft materials. It is powered by chemical reactions controlled by microfluidics.Kristopher SturgisResearchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute have unveiled their latest innovative robotic design: a 3-D printed robot nicknamed “octobot.”The nickname octobot was inspired by the octopus, which served as a source of inspiration for the group given the mollusc’s  ability to perform great feats of strength and flexibility,...
  • Nevro: Adding Jobs

        Nevro (Menlo Park, CA) more than doubled its workforce to 308 in 2015 amid FDA approval of its novel Senza spinal cord stimulation technology for treating chronic leg and back pain, according to EP Vantage. By December 2015, the company had also secured reimbursement for the device. Continue >>[Image courtesy of Nevro]
  • Sunshine Heart: Cutting Jobs

        Sunshine Heart (Eden Prairie, MN) cut its workforce by nearly a third, to 38, in 2015 as it twice had to halt the pivotal U.S. trial for its C-Pulse heart failure device, according to EP Vantage. Sunshine Heart’s implantable device is meant to assist the pumping of heart failure patients’ hearts without having to come in contact with blood. It uses a balloon counter-pulsation technology, an extra aortic cuff implanted above the aortic valve. Leads exit the skin and...
  • M&A Means Big Shifts in Medtech Job Numbers

        In many cases the frenzy of major M&A deals caused big swings in medical device company headcounts that did not really indicate any hiring or firing, according to EP Vantage. Here are a few that stuck out: The new Zimmer Biomet, created after Zimmer closed on its $13.4 billion acquisition of Biomet last year, has a workforce 75% larger than what Zimmer had;BD's workforce grew 62% after its $12.2 billion purchase of CareFusion;St. Jude Medical added 2000...
  • GI Dynamics: Cutting Jobs

        GI Dynamics in July 2015 opted for an early termination of the U.S. pivotal trial of its EndoBarrier device (illustrated above), which provides an impermeable lining in the first part of the small intestine in order to reduce blood sugar and aid in weight loss. The reason for the early termination? There were higher than expected occurrence of hepatic abscess. GI Dynamics, though, still plans to move its technology forward in obese type 2 diabetes patients after it finishes...
  • Exact Sciences: Adding Jobs

        Madison, WI–based Exact Sciences nearly trebled its number of employees to 677 workers in 2015, says EP Vantage. In 2010, the company had just 35. A big break for the company came in 2014, when FDA approved its noninvasive Cologuard stool test for colorectal cancer. The company completed 104,000 Cologuard testes for patients in 2015 alone. Continue >>[Image courtesy of Exact Sciences]
  • Medtech Companies: Who Is Hiring and Who Is Firing?

        Study the financial reports of many medical device companies, and big swings in jobs numbers are likely the result of the M&A frenzy that has hit the industry in recent years. (Although, the deals are slowing down a bit.)Some companies are exceptions to the rule, though. Here are five companies that received attention in EP Vantage’s latest medtech jobs report.Continue >>Structural Heart Opportunities and Challenges TAVR and TMVR are among the hottest technologies...
  • Smith & Nephew: Adding Jobs

        Smith & Nephew grew its headcount by 1,218 workers, or 9%, to 14,686 in 2015, according to EP Vantage (London). Much of the growth was organic, and not due to M&A activity.The company has nearly doubled its workforce over the past five years.In fact, S&N under the leadership of CEO Olivier Bohuon has stayed away from a major M&A deal. Instead, there has been a push for organic growth and innovation internally, with $222 million spent on R...
  • Why Do Women Leave Engineering?

    New data out of MIT and the MD+DI Medtech Salary Survey sheds light on gender discrimination problems in engineering, including in the medical device industry. Nancy CrottiMore women leave engineering than men because they feel marginalized during internships and team-based work, according to a new study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In those settings, men are more likely to to be chosen to work on the most challenging problems, while women are assigned...
  • Getting Engineers and Designers to 'Play Nice'

    Here are three ways to help make it happen in medtech.Tom KraMer, Kablooe DesignThe stigma has been around for a long time. Engineers hate it when designers come up with concepts that can’t function or be manufactured. Designers hate it when engineers ruin the design intent and make a square metal box to house all the components. Lots of time is spent throwing the concept over the wall to the other group and thinking that it is their problem now.What can be done? There are a few best practices...
  • 4. Financials

        Market volume estimates play into how you manufacture your device. Estimate it wrong, and you could be stuck with a manufacturing process that doesn’t fit. “It plays into your business models,” Murdeshwar says.You need to figure out the right price for the device, or even how you are going to sell it.And then there is the need to make sure the health providers can be reimbursed for the device after they buy it from you.Reimbursement has become a huge issue, Murdeshwar says....
  • 3. Usability

        This is about persuading engineers to let designers into the product development process early. In the past, Murdeshwar has found this can be a difficult thing—something that makes the achievements of design-conscious companies such as Apple even more remarkable.Engineers want to look at the solutions, plain and simple. But Murdeshwar finds, “When we implement this, we have to dumb it down. Any non-engineer has to be able to use it. … There are many examples where you get...
  • 2. Realizing That Safety and Efficacy Is More Than FDA

        Safety and efficacy, though, is about more than getting regulatory approval, Murdeshwar says. It is about ensuring whether there is really a market out there for the device.What is the motivation for your user to switch to your device from the device you are using today? How do you avoid misinterpreting the clinical needs? Murdeshwar thinks the two questions are especially important because health professionals are conservative when it comes to switching to new devices. “It’s...