• Nanoprobes

        Nanoprobes are generally positive things in medical device research circles. Google in 2014 mentioned the idea of nanoparticles that would be coated with a disease-detecting substance and possibly packed into a pill. Pioneering Scripps Health cardiologist Eric Topol, MD, has been working on blood stream nano sensor chips that could detect heart attacks. Self-reproducing medical nano robots inside the body could one day act as a "personal virus scanner" to fight germs and...
  • 3-D Printing

        3-D printing is quickly coming into its own in the medical device industry as a tool for both customized tools and implants. Johnson & Johnson has exclusive 3-D printing partnerships with both Hewlett Packard and high-speed 3-D printing company Carbon. And Stryker is creating a 3-D printing plant in Ireland. Including it in a list of Star Trek-related technologies might cause someone to say, "Huh?" But think about it. In a rudimentary way, 3-D printing is doing...
  • Making Geordi's VISOR a Reality

        Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation has been blind since birth, but uses a device called a VISOR to "see" the environment around him. The VISOR is able to scan an electromagnetic spectrum much wider than what human beings are normally able to perceive, and then transmits the visual data through an implant to the optic nerves.Second Sight Medical Products (Sylmar, CA), in fact, has its Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System. The Argus II is able to identify...
  • Surgery Without a Knife

        In Star Trek IV—which sends the original Star Trek cast back to 1980s San Francisco—Dr. Leonard McCoy at one point tells hospital surgeons to put away their knives so that he can repair a broken artery inside Pavel Chekov's head with an electronic gizmo. Direct energy surgery, in fact, is becoming more of a reality all the time. Focused ultrasound or some other form of energy could be concentrated to seal an internal wound or ruptured blood vessel or zap a tiny...
  • The Closest Thing to a Medical Tricorder?

        The medical tricorder, that transistor radio–sized device that Dr. Leonard McCoy would wave over patients for a diagnosis, is a holy grail of sorts in the medical device field. There is even a $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE that has seven finalist teams presently competing, with an award winner expected by next year. (Qmed actually wrote about the finalists before—when there were 10.) Potentially one of the closest devices to a tricorder yet comes out of...
  • Trekkies Will Love These 10 Medical Devices

        With Star Trek Beyond opening in theaters, we take a look at how medical devices from the science fiction fantasy series are becoming a reality. Read on to discover 10 medical devices that are sure to inspire some deja vu from diehard Trekkies (or Trekkers, if that's what you prefer to call yourselves). Continue >>Don't miss the MD&M Minneapolis conference and expo, September 21–22, 2016.Chris Newmarker is senior editor of Qmed. Follow him on Twitter at @...
  • A Take-Home Test for Cancer?

    The new technology was designed to make testing for malaria and other diseases including cancer as cheap and easy as a take home pregnancy test.Kristopher SturgisThe technology involves simple paper strips that can detect a variety of different diseases for just 50 cents per strip, according to the Ohio State University chemists who created the test strips.The test requires just a simple drop of blood and can be mailed into a laboratory from virtually anywhere, including your own home.Ideally,...
  • How Medical Plastics Companies Are Adapting

    Medical device industry growth has slowed in recent years, but plastics makers are still finding ways to cash in, according to an in-depth report in Qmed's fellow UBM media outlet Plastics Today.Qmed StaffMedtech's once robust double-digit growth appears to be history for now, and medical plastics companies are adapting accordingly as they provide the materials needed for next-generation medical devices. That's one of the major themes in an in-depth report released by...
  • How Tiny Mirrors Could Boost Imaging of Living Cells

    Researchers attempt to grow cells on tiny mirrors and image them with super-resolution microscopy, providing a three dimensional view of cells at the micron-scale for the first time. Kristopher SturgisThis Vero cell grew on the surface of a mirror, after which researchers fluorescently stained it to show the microtubules in the cell's cytoskeleton. (Image courtesy of Georgia Tech)U.S., Chinese, Austrialian researchers created the new technique, which is meant to address a...
  • Former Acclarent Execs Almost Beat the Rap

    A federal jury in the U.S. has acquitted the executives of the most serious charges brought against them over off-label use, but still found them guilty of misdemeanor charges that carry a potential prison sentence. Chris NewmarkerPatrick Fabian (left) and William Facteau were executives at Acclarent. Former Acclarent CEO William Facteau and former sales vice president Patrick Fabian each face up to a year in prison and hefty fines after a federal jury in...
  • What Medtech Experts Should Read This Summer

    Qmed’s sister media outlet MD+DI has a summer reading list for medical device industry insiders.Qmed Staff Summer is a good opportunity to delve into a good read, and MD+DI has some suggestions for medtech enthusiasts. For example, the book n=1 is by a former health system CEO, a former medtech company CEO, and a former business consultant, who together try to make sense of the consumerization taking place in healthcare right now. Or perhaps you could learn about Innovation the...
  • Do Functional MRI Tests Have a Problem?

    Were 40,000 test results wrong? Or just 3500? Time for more research.Nancy CrottiA recent study of functional MRI test results stated that up to 40,000 such tests may have been muddied by software problems.The research set off a firestorm of publicity, and one of the authors has since submitted an errata to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.) or PNAS, which published the paper, saying the findings were misinterpreted. The more precise number, that author writes, may be...
  • Big Companies Have Other Abilities

         “Define innovation. I think the broad term innovation hamstrings this question. Large med device companies innovate in different ways than small companies. They innovate in terms of systems, acquisition, and market consolidation. In this sense it's not difficult for them to innovate.”“Why is it so hard to innovate at big medical device companies? I’m an entrepreneur. A small business guy. I can’t afford to take your question or any situation at face value. 1) You are...
  • Business Is Business

        “It’s cheaper to acquire technology, over R&D in-house.”“Because it’s safer and cheaper to buy a small company, rape it for all of its innovation and then close it down, decimating jobs and careers.”“This is easy to explain. Innovation is creativity that starts with an idea or person. Unfortunately they do not have the financial strength or bredth of skills to deliver the innovation. Big companies are structured into functions and adhere to structured norms. It is...
  • Worries Over Regulators and Lawsuit Lawyers

        “The Regulatory and quality groups get so big and conservative that most engineering time is spent managing current product.”“Inherent contradiction: Innovation comes from maximizing variation; QSR compliance comes from minimizing variation.”“Liability associated with potential lawsuits.”Continue >>[Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono on FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
  • Lack of Long-Term Vision

        “Risk is not rewarded. Focus on short term profits.”“The focus is on delivering the next product/release, leaving no time for innovation.”“Short term ROI is always a consideration.”“Failure to fail”“Many innovative ideas come from 'street-smart' people in the field (physicians, nurses, medical technicians). They come with the idea and can develop it with engineers. Many excellent ideas can be eliminated by Business Development people who see the immediate market and not the...
  • 5 Reasons Why Big Medtech Companies Struggle to Innovate

        Qmed readers explain how big device companies put the kibosh on creativity, and some of their comments will surprise you. Chris NewmarkerQmed industry insider readers had a lot to say when asked why big medical device companies find it so hard to innovate.The survey was sparked by a story in Qmed's sister media outlet MD+DI: Experts complained that large medtech companies seem to spend more of their billions acquiring the scrappy startups that do the hard...
  • Caught Up in Red Tape

         “Innovation is a complex process and is at least somewhat unstructured which does not work well in the highly structured large companies.”“Most medical companies have systems in place to evaluate new ideas. I've worked at 3M Medtronic, and Heartware. Small companies have nothing to lose with an innovative product. Success breeds no risk taking.”“Innovation activities, whether development of new technologies or creation of internal startups, need to report directly to an...
  • Imaging Technique Could Unlock DNA Secrets

    Harvard researchers have developed a new method for imaging molecules in DNA structures with high clarity and resolution.Kristopher SturgisThe discovery, known as discrete molecular imaging (DMI), has enabled researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering to view individual molecular features that are distanced only 5 nm apart in a single molecular structure. Mingjie Dai, graduate student at Harvard and first author on the work, says that this discovery could...
  • New Sensor Can Detect Gluten in Food

    An MIT spinout called Nima has a new portable gluten sensor that can detect the slightest trace of gluten in food. Kristopher SturgisThe Nima sensor is a 3-in.-tall triangular device that comes with disposable capsules that can be used to test food samples. Users can fill each capsule with a sample of food or liquid roughly the size of a pea, screw the top on the capsule, and place it into the device where it will be mixed with a solution that detects gluten. In just a few minutes...