• Robotics Firm Sets Its Sights on Wheelchairs and Forklifts

    A company known as 5D Robotics wants to bring the field of smart robotics to manufacturing, medical technology, transportation, and other sectors. Brian Buntz5D Robotics’ technology could be used to navigate wheelchairs. Image courtesy City of Carlsbad.5D Robotics’ (Carlsbad, CA) navigation technology was originally developed for military applications to detect land mines, but the number of applications of the company's technology could be multitudinous.The company uses ultra wideband (UWB)...
  • The Technologies That Are Helping Paralyzed People Walk

    In the past couple of years, there have been a number of technological breakthroughs that have enabled paralyzed people to walk again with support.Brian BuntzIt may be early yet, but there have been a number of recent advances to give paralyzed people hope that they may one day regain feeling in their limbs—and even walk. There have already been a handful of patients who have, after years or paralysis, taken a stand and in some cases walked without support.Consider the case of Darek Fidyka, a...
  • How Metrology Is Solving Its Shadow Puppet Problem

    For decades, many engineers have measured the accuracy of manufactured parts using a method bearing a certain resemblance to the method kids use to make shadow puppets appear on a wall.Brian BuntzThe Micro-Vu Vertex vision system with a four-station touch probe kit is shown here testing a medical device component. For a substantial part of the twentieth century, the way the tolerances of manufactured objects was measured remained essentially unchanged. Invented in 1920, the optical...
  • Want to Win the Minnesota Medtech Week Innovation Prize?

    We are hosting a contest to acknowledge the most innovative new products, services, and technologies developed by Minnesota Medtech Week exhibitors.Chris Newmarker and Brian BuntzUBM Canon is looking to identify the most innovative exhibitors at Minnesota Medtech Week, and give them the attention they deserve. The Minnesota Medtech Week Innovation Prize is a contest that will acknowledge the most innovative products, services, and technologies developed in recent years by exhibitors...
  • 72 Hours to Shift the Lives of the Disabled

    An array of promising technologies to help the disabled were on display at the most-recent makeathon hosted by the nonprofit TOM and Makerbot. Brian BuntzOne of the prototypes developed at the Tikkun Olam Makers makeathon was a hand-free cupholder for crutches. The device won the Prize4Life award for Independence.There are 1 billion people living with disabilities worldwide, according to the WHO. “That is one in seven people,” says Sefi Attias, CTO of the global nonprofit Tikkun Olam...
  • Could an All-Plastic Design Make TAVR 30 Times Safer?

    Direct Flow Medical explores the next generation of transcatheter aortic valve replacement devices made from polymers and completely free of metals. The company says that the all-plastic design could result in a safety profile that is a quantum leap better than that of TAVR valves with metal-based frames. Kristopher SturgisWhile catheter-based heart valves represent a much-less invasive treatment option than traditional surgical valve replacement, the procedure is not without its risks. A...
  • Why the IoT Really Will Revolutionize Patient Care

    It is practically inevitable that the Internet of Things will remake how we care for the sick and elderly, although uncertainty around HIPAA may delay that promise.Brian BuntzLast year, The Guardian declared that the “'Internet of things' is the most over-hyped technology.” While any promising new technology attracts its fair share of hype, the aging Baby Boomer generation is poised to embrace IoT-powered technologies to help them maintain independence as they age and the global population...
  • These 10 Medtech CEOs Make the Most

    Qmed analyzed SEC filings for some of the the medical device industry’s largest companies. Read on to find out which CEOs received the most total compensation.Chris NewmarkerOmar Ishrak, MedtronicMedtronic CEO Omar Ishrak was the best compensated among the medical device industry’s top executives over the past year, mostly because of $25.6 million he received to help him pay his taxes after the company’s $48 billion merger with Covidien.Among 18 companies publicly traded in the U.S., average...
  • Apple Positions Its Smartwatch as a Medical Monitor

    Health monitoring was featured prominently at the most recent Apple Event on September 9 in San Francisco. The company demonstrated how the Apple Watch can be used to help monitor fetal health and its ability to help physicians monitor patients remotely.Brian BuntzIt was something of a surprise that health monitoring was featured so prominently in Apple’s product announcement on September 9, in which the tech giant also unveiled a bigger iPad, new versions of iPhones, and an upgrade of its...
  • Can the Human Body Be a Wireless Communication Platform?

    Last month, researchers released a prototype for a new wireless communication technique that sends magnetic signals through the human body, leveraging its natural magnetic waves. The technology could offer a more secure way to communicate information between wearable electronic devices. Jordan Brandes Jiwoong Park, a grad student in UCSD professor's Patrick Mercier lab, shows off a magnetic coil that treats the human body as a network. Image courtesy of UC San Diego.Though it is still in the...
  • A Game Plan for Systematic Innovation

    The secret to developing a game-changing medical device is that it demands a methodical, rather than chaotic, product development process. Craig SchererCraig Scherer is a senior partner and cofounder of Insight Product Development.   Thinking outside the proverbial box does not have to require the mindset of a mad genius or the R&D budgets of the largest tech companies. Innovation can and should be systematic and it’s still possible to innovate in a highly regulated field ...
  • A Novel Blood Cleaning Strategy Is Closer to Actual Use

    Discover the elegant solution that Harvard University researchers came up with.Chris NewmarkerThe  blood-cleansing device is connected to a dialysis-like circuit . (Image courtesy of Harvard University's Wyss Institute)Researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute think they’ve hit on a strategy to get their unique blood-cleaning technology into clinical settings more quickly, and it was all about adopting as much existing medical technology as possible.The research team...
  • New Graphene Alternative Discovered

    A international team of researchers have used a computer simulation to predict the existence of a new carbon material known as “phagraphene.”Qmed StaffPhagraphene is a sibling to graphene with unique properties.Graphene, it turns out, has many siblings. We recently profiled black phosphorous, but there are also other similar materials that can be made out of other single elements and combination of elements, such as HITP and nickel ions.  Perhaps some of these materials are easier to...
  • St. Jude Medical: +9%

    St. Jude Medical: +9% St. Jude Medical has seen its stock increase steadily this year, recently rising 5% to $72.80 last Thursday morning, after a rumor that Abbott Laboratories was planning on bidding to acquire the firm, which Abbott denied.  The company is increasing the size of its cardiovascular tech footprint. It recently acquired CardioMEMS (device shown above), and is close to closing a $3.4 billion acquisition of LVAD maker Thoratec. S&P had upgraded...
  • Essilor International: +7%

    Essilor International: +7%Recently featured in our who's hiring and who's firing roundup, French ophthalmologic specialist Essilor clearly belongs in the former category. The company has added 23,273 employees in the past five years. The company's stock has increased from the €48 range five years ago to more than €113 today. In this time period, the company, the world’s biggest lens maker, has also built an Innovation & Technology Center in Dallas, TX, while setting aside more than $1...
  • Terumo Corp.: +13%

    Terumo Corp.: +13%Like many medtech companies that are faring well in 2015, Terumo has a strong cardiovascular business, having acquired some of their assets in this area from 3M in 1999 and UK-based Vascutek Ltd in 2002. Since then, the company’s share price has grown steadily for the most part, and the company has acquires a handful of other cardiovascular firms, including MicroVention Inc., the heart valve division of Kohler Chemine GmbH, and Onset Medical Corp. (Shown here is the company’s...
  • Edwards Lifesciences: +11%

    Edwards Lifesciences: +11%Edwards has certainly had meteoric growth since the beginning of 2014, with its stock rising from the mid-$60 range then to the $155 range in July of this year. Now trading at about $135 per share, Edwards has benefitted from solid sales of its Sapien lines of transcatheter heart valves. Recently, the company’s stock has tumbled a bit. Another consideration is that its credit rating is less than ideal: The company has a BBB– credit rating from S&P, reflecting a...
  • Fresenius Medical Care: +10%

    Fresenius Medical Care: +10% Fresenius (Bad Homburg, Germany) has had a solid first six months of the year with its stock opening the year around $35 and eventually hitting $44 in late July. Perhaps the tide is turning. Its stock has been falling recently, and it closed the day on September 2 at $37.69. Recently, analyst firm Morningstar gave the firm a BB+ credit rating, stating that the firm had an above-average default risk. Morningstar gave the company a two-star rating (out of...
  • Paul Hartmann: +14%

    Heidenheim, Germany–based Paul Hartmann boasts that its sales for the first half of 2015 were up 5%, to 955.1 million euros ($1.1 billion), while the overall market it competes in was up 2 to 3%. Infection management led the way with 7% growth, fueled by hydroactive wound care products and the Vivano negative-pressure wound therapy system (shown above). “Demographic changes, increases in chronic illness and healthcare acquired infections are major...
  • C.R. Bard: +16%

    C.R. Bard received a stock price boost in late July, when the company reported that second-quarter sales were up 4% year-over-year, to $859.8 million.“A key objective of our investment plan was to accelerate the growth rate of the company. In Q2, every business performed either at the top or above our stated guidance range for each category,” C.R. Bard CEO Timothy Ring told analysts in a July 24 earnings call transcribed by Seeking Alpha.Ring noted that the major growth drivers for C.R. Bard—...