• Prosthetic Arms 3-D Printed for Sudan War Victims

    State-of-the-art 3-D printing technology is now helping amputees in the war-torn Nuba Mountains in South Sudan, primarily due to the efforts of Mick Ebeling and his Not Impossible Labs (Venice, CA).Daniel Omar, the first recipient of the 3-D printed arms, was only 14 years old when both his arms were blown off in a Sudanese government airstrike. After Ebeling's visit, he was able to feed himself for the first time in two years with his new 3-D printed prosthetic arm.Daniel (r) and Mohammad and...
  • What Needs to Happen Before Watson Can Fix Healthcare

    Need to find which research articles out of hundreds of thousands have the best suggestions for treating a medical condition? A supercomputer such as IBM’s Watson can help immensely. But a doctor is still needed to make the final decision.“I view this kind of process as decision support and augmentation, not decision making,” Martin Kohn, MD, the former chief medical scientist at IBM, said Tuesday at the 10X Medical Device Conference, held outside Minneapolis.Watson—which initially gained...
  • 10 Rules for Designing Great Medical Devices

    From keeping track of most serious medical device recalls to exploring the sources of medical device failure, Qmed spends plenty of time looking into what goes wrong in the design process. But what are the rules that allow for safe and highly effective design?Eric ClaudeQmed recently asked this question on the Medical Devices Group on LinkedIn, and received a useful response from Eric Claude, vice president of product development at MPR Associates (Alexandria, VA). Claude has been...
  • 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...
  • Don’t Forget about Plastics

    Remember the scene in “The Graduate” where the Dustin Hoffman character is taken aside by a family friend? And he says just one important word of advice: “plastics.” That's kind of what it feels like reading a recent article in Qmed/MPMN’s UBM sister publication, Plastics Today, called “Would any of the top medical devices of all time be possible without plastics?” Reacting to a Qmed/MPMN look into the greatest medical devices of all time, Clare Goldsberry recounts the work of three late,...
  • MIT Student's Startup Invents Cheap Malaria Rapid Test

    “What if I told you I could save one million lives with just refrigerator magnets and a laser pointer?” asks MIT graduate student John R. Lewandowski, who is also founder and CEO of Disease Diagnostic Group (DDG; Shaker Heights, OH).Lewandowski is one of the inventors of the Rapid Assessment of Malaria (RAM) device, a battery-powered machine that uses magnets and lasers to identify malaria-infected blood. Along with Case Western Reserve University Medical School malaria expert Brian T. Grimberg...
  • How Data Can Ensure a Successful Supplier Tooling Transfer

    OK, who’s heard of a supplier tooling transfer that’s gone off the rails? Pretty much everyone it seems…Every major tooling transfer presents unique situations and challenges, and when it’s not our core business, we tend to focus on what is tangible. We might think to ourselves: “Hey, if we change to that molding supplier over there, we can cut our costs and increase our profit. Let’s send an audit team to the new supplier and make sure they can do what they say they can do. Then we can pull...
  • 95% of MedTech Developers Confident in Their Devices

    More than 86% of you would feel comfortable if the medical device you are developing were used on yourself or a loved one.That is the conclusion of an informal Qmed/MPMN survey of our medical device developer readers, which also found that an additional 9% would be “somewhat comfortable” in such a situation.With 177 respondents at the time or writing, slightly more than 2% would be “somewhat uncomfortable” and just over 1% would be “uncomfortable” if the device they were developing was...
  • Medtech Developers Share How Their Products Were Used on Family

    Most of our medtech design and engineering readers at Qmed/MPMN say they they would be comfortable implanting their medical devices in themselves and their relatives.  In hindsight, the results of the recent informal survey, in which about 95% were either comfortable or somewhat comfortable, are pretty expected. But some of the anonymous comments are pretty interesting, if not downright inspiring. There are medtech designers telling stories of  relatives actually using...
  • Apple's Health-Tracking EarPods Might Launch Soon

    Apple's next-gen EarPods may include health monitoring (Courtesy Apple)It would seem that Apple's PR and social media department has been working overtime again to keep the rumor mill stoked and buzzing. But that's what they do...One has the sneaking suspicion that someone (or perhaps several someones) keeps a realtime tweet rate monitor on their desktop and whenever the numbers fall below a certain threshold, out pops a fresh, tantalizing tidbit of “insider” gossip.We recently...
  • Why Parylene Is Still a Go-To Medical Device Coating

    Include parylene with the list of medical device materials that have been around for decades, in this case providing a reliable protective coating for devices.Part of the reason may have to do with how difficult it is to get new types of materials approved with the FDA. But Specialty Coating Systems officials are quick to point out that parylene has plenty of benefits going for it.See Dick Molin, senior medical market specialist at Specialty Coating Systems, discuss parylene at the Tech Theater...
  • 4 Things You Need to Know about MedTech Suppliers

    Shore, director of quality at Nypro, spoke on supplier controls at MD&M Texas on Wednesday, May 7.Jim Shore knows more than a thing or two about enhancing relationships between medical device OEMs and suppliers. A few years back, he was part of a program at Boston Scientific that reduced field actions among its contract manufacturers from 11 down to three—leading to about $8 million in savings.Shore, who is now director of quality at Nypro (Clinton, MA), says the strategy was to...
  • Next-Gen Battery May Charge in Under a Minute

    The novel properties of quantum dots, nanocrystals that are small enough to exhibit quantum mechanical properties, are being employed by Israeli startup StoreDot Ltd. to create a battery that can be fully charged in less than a minute.Quantum dots exhibit properties that are still being explored by researchers. While other types of quantum dots are made of semiconductor materials such as gallium arsenide, these dots are bio-organic and are made of amino acid peptides."We were able to take the...
  • Microbots Propelled by Magnetism Carry, Assemble Payload

    Researchers in many different labs are tackling the same goal of engineering nanodevices that can fight disease from within the body from many different angles.We have recently reported on the Israeli scientists who built DNA origami nanoboxes inside a living cockroach, the Harvard researchers who made stealthy DNA nanodevices invisible to a mouse's immune system, and the MIT chemists who have constructed cancer-fighting nanoparticles that deliver three drugs at once.Now, two scientists at...
  • Graphene Made in Kitchen Blender–but Don't Try It at Home

    The graphene lattice (Courtesy Wikipedia)Graphene is some amazing stuff, with amazing properties that researchers are continually finding new ways to employ.It is basically a lattice of carbon atoms one atom thick. Called a “wonder material” by the American Physical Society, graphene is “a million times thinner than paper, stronger than diamond, more conductive than copper.” And since it is so thin, it is virtually transparent.Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester...
  • DNA Nanodevices Sneak Past Mouse Immune Systems

    A natural virus (left) and a lipid-coated DNA nanodevice (right) created by the researchers. (Courtesy Steven Perrault/Harvard's Wyss Institute)Scientists at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have built the first DNA nanodevices that survive the body's immune system.This is significant because, although researchers have known for some time that it's possible to use DNA as a building block to make nanodevices that can target pathogens, getting those structures past...
  • Optical Computing Breakthrough Could Be Boon for Wearable Devices

    The discovery of a simple way of converting information from magnetism-based storage to light-based transmission has been announced by researchers at the University of Iowa and New York University.This may solve a crucial problem in the development of inexpensive plastic computers of the sort envisioned for wearables such as activity monitors, as well as sundry medical devices such as heart monitors and glucose meters.This breakthrough, which seems likely to have a much greater impact than...
  • Google Working on Embedding a Camera in a Contact Lens

    Google, apparently not content with its Glass device, is now embedding a tiny camera in a contact lens, according to a recently disclosed patent application. Essentially, wearers will not have to ask, “Do you see what I see?” They'll be able to show them.This is not the first improvement to contact lenses that Google has proposed. Back in January  the search giant unveiled a contact lens with an embedded glucose meter that could actually be useful for diabetics.The 'smart' part of this new...
  • Drool, Baby, Drool! Saliva May Power Oral Devices

    A saliva-powered fuel cell. (Courtey Penn State University)While (so far) it produces less than one microwatt of power, researchers have figured out how to harvest electricity from human saliva.Using the oxygen in the air as the cathode and graphene as the anode, scientists at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Thuwal, Saudi Arabia) and Penn State University (State College, PA) have harnessed bacteria into a 25-μl microbial fuel cell (MFC).Although saliva does not have the...
  • Body-Heat Powered Wearable Electronics May Be Coming Soon to a Wrist Near You

    Flexible, wearable thermoelectric generator (Courtesy Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)A paper published by three researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST; Daejeon, Republic of Korea) has been generating considerable buzz in the wearables space. The scientists have formulated and screen printed thermoelectric generators on a flexible glass fabric.The glass-fabric generator produces an order of magnitude more electricity than previous...