• Google Files Patent for Surgical Laser Technology

    A recently published Google patent describes a laser ablation device with an active tracking system that allows the laser to work even when a patient is moving.Nancy CrottiAn illustration from Google's patent application for the laser ablation deviceGoogle's foray into medical technology appears to be continuing. The company, which now has a sister Google Life Sciences business operating under its Alphabet parent company, has applied for a patent for a laser ablation surgical device.Slideshow:8...
  • The Medtech Industry Can't Hide from Security Flaws

    The medical device industry should more thoroughly consider the security ramifications of wireless technology in next-gen medical devices, according to a prominent security researcher.Brian BuntzJay RadcliffeAre medical device designers so enamored with technology that they are failing to take cybersecurity seriously?That was the question posed by Jay Radcliffe, a senior security consultant at Rapid7, during a Wednesday talk at BIOMEDevice San Jose.Technology, for example,...
  • Public Safety Warnings from FDA Spike in 2015

    FDA has had a been a busy year releasing Medical Device Safety Communications safety communications. Outlined in the warnings include problems related to duodenoscopes, reprocessed flexible bronchoscopes, and cybersecurity. Qmed DailyTo date, FDA has released 18 safety communications in 2015. Compare that with 2014, when it released six such communications, or 2013, when it released nine. Several of the documents were related to themes such as the ability of infusion pumps to be hacked,...
  • Human Gene Editing Tech Sparks Debate

    Synthetic biologists continue to advance a molecular editing system known as CRISPR that provides the opportunity to edit the DNA of living cells with unprecedented precision. While the technology’s ability to safely alter human DNA has yet to be proven, MIT scientists claim that they’ve all but removed potential errors from the technology. Kristopher SturgisDiagram of the CRISPR prokaryotic viral defense mechanism from WikipediaIn April 2015, Chinese scientists announced that they were the...
  • Startup’s Plan to Use AI to Resurrect the Dead Raises Eyebrows

    A startup states that it can give humans the option of immortality within 30 years. While it has received international media attention, details of its plans remain scarce. Qmed StaffHumai states on its website that it is working towards "Human Resurrection through Artificial Intelligence."The startup Humai (Los Angeles) says it is working on using artificial intelligence and cryonics to give people the option of living eternally. While it is too early to tell if it is a hoax or a serious plan...
  • Top 10 Biomedical Engineering Schools by Salary

    Engineering is one of the most handsomely rewarded academic disciplines and, engineering continues to be the highest-paying major at the baccalaureate level. Biomedical engineers’ compensation is competitive with the pay offered by many other engineering niches.Qmed StaffUpdated December 22, 2015According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, biomedical engineers take home an average salary of $91,760—more than the roughly $87,000 salary range that is the average for civil and mechanical...
  • Medtronic Recalls Nearly 100,000 Pacemakers

    The medical device company reports that a battery problem in one of its pacemakers could interfere with normal device function.Qmed StaffA recent recall involving roughly 96,800 InSync III pacemakers has been given Class 2 status by the FDA. The recall, which covers three different models of the pacemakers, relates to a potential battery defect. In a letter addressed to doctors, Medtronic notes that 30 devices so far have been demonstrated to have a problem with unexpected high...
  • The Guide to the Future of Medicine: Infographic

    Learn more about user-centered design in a workshop dedicated to the topic at BIOMEDevice San Jose, December 2–3.
  • Does Disruptive Innovation Really Have to Be So Disruptive?

    The rate that technological breakthroughs are being developed continues to increase at breakneck speed, leading to seismic shifts in how people interact with technology on a daily basis. It is thus vital to ensure that developers of new technologies consider human behavior to engage users amidst a landscape marked by unprecedented change. Craig SchererCraig Scherer is a senior partner and cofounder of Insight Product Development.  The digital health and Internet of Things...
  • Is This a Cheaper Way to Do Medical Imaging?

    MIT researchers used sophisticated mathematical equations to turn an off-the-shelf depth sensor, such as a Microsoft Kinect, into an biomedical imaging tool.Nancy CrottiThese images depicts the phase information contained in six of the 50 light frequencies the MIT biomedical imaging system analyzes. (Image courtesy of MIT)A team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers has come up with a way to do medical imaging for much less money than current technology costs.The researchers...
  • FDA Warns About Deadly Device Coatings Problems

    Coating adhesion problems related to guidewires and other devices apparently aren’t going away, if a Monday safety communication out of FDA is any indication.Chris NewmarkerSome failing wires experience PTFE delamination. (Image courtesy of Surface Solutions Group)FDA is warning health providers of serious adverse events related both the hydrophilic and hydrophobic coatings used on guidewires and a host of other intravascular procedure devices.The medical device industry has already been aware...
  • Medtech Hacking: The Newest Way to Scare TV Watchers

    A recent episode of “CSI: Cyber” aired in which all of the networked medical devices in a hospital were hacked. It may be sensationalized, but the argument that many networked medical devices are relatively insecure is correct. Brian BuntzIt seems the possibility of hacking medical devices is getting more attention in popular culture than it is getting from medical device OEMs. A couple of weeks ago, the subject was featured in an episode titled “Hack E.R.” of the CBS show CSI: Cyber. The...
  • Pfizer-Allergan Reportedly Nearing $150 Billion Merger

    Medtronic became the biggest company in Ireland through its $50-billion acquisition of Covidien. Pfizer’s pending buy of Allergan will reportedly cost it three times as much. Pfizer, however, is also dropping hints that it plans on breaking up its business in 2016. Qmed News New U.S. Treasury restrictions designed to curb so-called inversion deals seem to be not having their intended effect. Pfizer, the biggest pharmaceutical company in the world, which earlier this year bought drug and...
  • The 2 Latest Medical Devices with Mobile Health Credibility

    St. Jude Medical now has an FDA-approved spinal cord stimulation system that can be programmed with an iPad mini. And Philips has started selling its app-based ultrasound Lumify system—on a subscription basis. Chris Newmarker St. Jude Medical's new Proclaim Elite spinal cord stimulation system also includes app-based features for patients to evaluate spinal cord stimulation over Apple iPad devices.The past week saw important news around two medical devices—an iPad programmable...
  • The Three Devices You Thought Were the Hottest of 2015

    We asked you to vote for the most-promising medical technologies that launched in Europe or the United States this year. Here are the three that came in on top. Qmed Staff1. Micra—79.39% HotThe Medtronic Micra leadless pacemaker was developed in house. With a profile roughly one tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker, the entire device had to be redesigned from the ground up. “When we first started, we didn’t even know how to do half of the stuff. We just put the goal out there,” said Mark...
  • How to Design a 'Tricorder' That Could 'Hear' Cancer

    Stanford University researchers think they are four to five years away from a handheld, cancer-detecting device. Slideshow: 10 Star Trek-Inspired Medical Devices You Need to Know AboutNancy CrottiEver since Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy first waved his “tricorder” over a patient to diagnose an illness or injury on Star Trek, earthlings have longed for such a powerful medical device. Researchers at Stanford University say they’re on track to produce one.The device uses heat and sound waves to detect...
  • Hackers Could Hold Medical Devices Hostage

    Next year, hackers will could begin threatening the lives of people with implantable devices according to a prediction by a tech market research firm. Brian BuntzRansomware could be headed to the world of medical devices and wearables, according to Forrester Research. By taking remote control over implantables such as pacemakers, hackers could extort users of the devices to pay them money to continue living, giving a new twist to the phrase: “your money, or your life.” The research firm named...
  • 7 Things to See at BIOMEDevice San Jose

     From discovering the future of medtech—to perhaps meeting your next business partner—there will be plenty to check out at BIOMEDevice San Jose. Qmed StaffBIOMEDevice San Jose offers a great chance to network with your medtech industry peers. Here are highlights you will definitely want to see at BIOMEDevice San Jose, December 2–3 at the San Jose Convention Center:1. Looking to the Future of MedicineThe BIOMEDevice San Jose conference will feature a session from healthcare...
  • What Theranos and Valeant's Failures Should Teach You

    Theranos and Valeant Pharmaceuticals both seemingly came from nowhere to become healthcare juggernauts, with the former threatening to disrupt the blood-testing industry and the latter having turning the traditional pharmaceutical business model on its head to propel its valuation into the stratosphere. Now, both firms are viewed as damaged goods.Qmed StaffIt is possible that the rise and potential fall of both Theranos and Valeant Pharmaceuticals will leave permanent changes in the healthcare...
  • Boston Scientific Recalls 955 Guidewires after Patient Death

    Boston Scientific is overseeing a Class I recall of the RotaWire Elite guidewire after being granted a PMA Supplement from FDA to change the contract manufacturer and the branding of the device. The device was sold to 30 hospitals as part of a “limited release.” Nancy CrottiThe RotaWire Boston Scientific has recalled 955 RotaWire Elite guidewires used to clear severe arterial blockages because the wires may break and cause patient injury or death. There were a total of three reports of the...