• Flexible EMG Sensors That Capture Biometric Data

        Fitness tracking could soar to new heights with the development of a BioStamp Research Connect System, known as the BioStampRC. It’s a wearable sensor specifically designed for enhanced medical research that captures movement and biometric data in real time. The sensor contains an accelerometer, a 6-axis gyroscope, and electrodes that capture electrophysiological data like an EMG or ECG. The data is stored on the device and can be transferred via Bluetooth technology to a...
  • Smart Suits: Integrating Technology Into Everyday Outfits

        Developers don’t intend to limit wearables to just workout clothing and accessories. Samsung recently showcased the world’s first smart suit equipped with an NFC chip in its sleeve, in an effort to continue the integration of technology into everyday outfits. The company showcased several other items at CES this year including a purse (known as Sol Bag) with a built-in battery for charging smartphones without a cable, and the Perfect Wallet, which also comes equipped with an...
  • Smart Socks: Tracking Movement, Heart, and Respiratory Rates

        Is there really more than meets the eye when looking at a sock? That’s certainly the intent behind Owelet’s new smart sock technology. This sensor-lined sock was designed to monitor vital signs in infants through the foot, and transmit the data to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. The technology allows parents to monitor a baby’s skin temperature, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and even sleep patterns at a moment's notice. An updated version is expected later this year that...
  • Smart Shoes Carving Out A Footprint

        Nike looks to get in on the ground floor of smart shoe technology with the release of the limited edition Nike Mag sneakers, modeled after the shoe worn by Michael J. Fox in the 1989 film Back To The Future II. The sneakers come equipped with self tying capabilities, and the ability to sense the wearer’s motion to provide “adaptive on-demand comfort and support.” The company Under Armour, with its SpeedForm 2 Gemini Smart Shoe, aims to measure distance, pace, and...
  • 5 of the Most-Promising Smart Clothing Technologies

            Kristopher SturgisWearable technologies have come a long way over the last few years, and while some didn’t quite live up to the hype (we’re looking at you Google Glass), others have certainly hinted at the promise of wearables. This year’s CES expo showcased a bevy of new wearable technologies that have taken a more fashionable approach.The above image is courtesy HexoskinLearn more about cutting-edge medical devices at MD&M West, February 9–11 at the...
  • How Sequencing Technology Helped Tackle the Last Ebola Outbreak

    A well-funded virologist armed with next-gen genetic sequencing technology was able to help track the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone with unprecedented speed.Brian BuntzThe semiconductor technology from Thermo Fisher (Carlsbad, CA) used in the Ion PGM sequencer enables the sequencer to be used in portable locations—even within a tent-based lab during Sierra Leone's Ebola outbreak. The device measures 24 x 20 x 21 in.Ian Goodfellow, a virologist at the University of Cambridge, was shaken by a...
  • Could This Super Film Lead to Mobile Cancer Detectors?

    A University of Michigan–developed film could enable more precise, less expensive monitoring for cancer survivors, according to its creators.Qmed StaffThe thin flexible film induces circular polarization of light. (Image courtesy of University of Michigan)Circular polarization of light has shown promise for detecting cancer. The process, however, requires large, expensive machines to generate the circularly polarized light.University of Michigan researchers, however, think they have hit on a...
  • Stryker Accused of Hiding Metal-on-Metal Spine Implant Problems

    Recent Ohio lawsuits claim that Stryker implanted a dangerous device in a clinical study without sharing information regarding its risks.Qmed StaffCourt documents show that the CerviCore device design had been substantially redesigned to address FDA concerns about the device causing metal poisoning. Fourteen plaintiffs in Ohio have brought lawsuits against Stryker, alleging that its CerviCore artificial discs are so dangerous that the company abandoned a clinical trial related to the...
  • Dangerous Scopes Needlessly Injured Hundreds

    Major duodenoscope maker Olympus and FDA failed to alert the U.S. public, even as hundreds became infected with superbugs, according to a U.S. Senate report released this week.Chris NewmarkerPictures of a contaminated Olympus TJF-Q180V closed-channel duodenoscope, taken during a 2012 investigation in the Netherlands that Olympus participated in. The O-ring shows signs of wear, and the actuator-side area is heavily covered with brown scale. (Image from the Senate...
  • DNA Cancer Test Gets Backing from Amazon, Microsoft Founders

    The biotech giant launches a new company, known as Grail, to develop blood tests that can detect cancer before symptoms ever arise. Kristopher SturgisA small number of companies are working to disrupt the blood testing industry. Image from Wikipedia.  Illumina, one of the largest DNA sequencing companies, has announced the formation of a startup known as Grail, which plans to develop blood tests that can potentially detect many cancers for the cost of $1000 or less. The company hopes to...
  • Apple Launches New Hiring Spree for Biomedical Engineers

    Echoing similar reports from last year, the Cupertino, CA–based tech giant is hiring biomedical R&D engineers and other medical experts to work in its health technology division. Brian BuntzShown above is an unofficial rendering of the Apple Watch 2.Here we go again. Apple is rumored to be working on another big health-related project, based on a recent uptick in hirings of biomedical engineers. Apple has posted at least four job postings for its health technology unit. One of those...
  • 4. Mobile Health Hits Its Stride

    As Winston Churchill said: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."Chris Newmarker    After years of promise that a mobile health revolution was around the corner, the movement may actually be gaining some traction, experts say. This year, expect to see more groundbreaking mobile-health product introductions than last year.In fact, this year, it is starting to seem bizarre that we even differentiated so-...
  • 5. FDA Will Likely Face Increased Scrutiny in 2016

    FDA has always been between a rock and a hard place with its mission. The time may be at hand for a rethink.Chris Newmarker and Brian Buntz    While the medical device professionals appeared in 2015 to overall be more satisfied with FDA and its recent uptick in performance, many patient advocates and politicians are alleging that the agency is too lax in clearing and approving products.CDRH wants to please both patients and the industry, and CDRH head Jeffrey Shuren has stressed...
  • 1. A Huge Question Around Suspended Device Tax

    The medtech industry may be celebrating Congress’ two-year suspension of the medical device tax. How big a difference the suspension really makes is another matter entirely. Chris Newmarker    A major question hangs over the medical device industry in 2016: Will Congress’ two-year suspension of the United States’ 2.3% medical device excise tax actually spur more R&D, not to mention jobs? After all, one of the biggest complaints about the tax is that it would siphon away money...
  • 2. Medical Device Company Merger Frenzy Could Continue

    The same factors that sparked huge deals in 2015 remain, experts say.Chris Newmarker    Last year saw huge consolidation at multiple levels in the medical device industry. Medtronic acquired Covidien for about $50 billion, Zimmer and Biomet became Zimmer Biomet through a $14 billion deal, and BD bought CareFusion for $12 billion. Major mergers took place on the supplier level, too, such as Greatbatch’s $1.73 billion acquisition of Lake Region Medical.As we enter 2016, the...
  • 3. High Tech Gets Even More Involved in Medtech

    Google, Apple, IBM, Samsung, and even Amazon are increasingly involved in medtech. This could be the year their relationship with traditional medical device companies becomes clearer.Chris Newmarker    Consumer tech companies have made important inroads into medtech, including partnerships with major device makers. (Check out some of the major examples from 2015.)Medtronic, for example, is working with Samsung to develop diabetes-management apps. Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson...
  • 5 Medtech Business Predictions: Will 2016 Be Like Last Year?

    2015 was the year medtech consolidated. Now, with less competition than the industry has had in recent memory, the medical device industry has been given a considerable cash influx in the form of a 2-year medical device tax repeal in the U.S. Will 2016 be characterized by seismic shifts? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean that everything will be the same...Qmed Staff  “Time may change me. But I can't trace time,” the late, great David Bowie sang in “Changes.” That sentiment seems...
  • What Medtech Firms Can Learn from Theranos' Regulatory Foibles

    A series of scathing articles from WSJ painted a picture of Theranos as having serious quality problems. A regulatory expert, however, says that many of the problems outlined in the company’s Form 483s are all-too-common in the medical device industry.  Brian BuntzInstead of criticizing Theranos for its regulatory problems, medical device professionals should double check that they aren't making the same mistakes, says David Amor, principal consultant at MEDgineering Inc., who is...
  • Why Healthcare Is Stuck in the 19th Century and What to Do About It

    Many of medicine’s traditions date back to not just the prior century but the early 1800s, says prominent digital health investor Vinod Khosla. It’s time for a reboot.Brian BuntzIndu Subaiya, co-founder and CEO of Health 2.0, asks Vinod Khosla to muse on potential solutions to healthcare's inefficiencies. When you go to the doctor, the first thing that happens after your name is called is that you have your weight, blood pressure, and pulse measured. “Most of the things we measure in routine...
  • Superbugs Could Mean Medical Cable Assembly Changes

    The silicone-jacketed cable could be on its way out as medtech companies move toward more single-use medical devices.Qmed StaffDeadly U.S. superbug outbreaks involving certain types of endoscopes could spell change when it comes to the silicone-jacketed cables used on many surgical tools and medical devices, according to Qmed’s sister media outlet DesignNews.That’s because medical device OEMs are looking at making more single-use camera-based surgical instruments, including fiber optic...