• TI's FPGA Killer Could Drive Medical Imaging Advances

    Texas Instruments (TI; Dallas) has introduced a new system on a chip (SOC) that could make FPGAs obsolete for many applications.Brian BuntzThe 66AK2L06 can do away with the need for an FPGA. Image courtesy of Texas Instruments.[Updated on April 22]The TI KeyStone II (66AK2L06) SOC is said to offer 50% cost and 60% power savings over similar technologies while offering a 66% reduction in board real estate.Part of those figures are a result of the SOC’s ability to do away with FPGAs....
  • Decades-Old Coating Helps Usher in New Diagnostics Era

    Microfluidics and smartphone-based applications mean SurModics’ decades-old StabilCoat is stretching its legs in new ways.Chris NewmarkerAn inexpensive smartphone compatible device out of Columbia University could detect HIV and syphillis. SurModics' StabilCoat helped enable make Columbia's assays more durable and capable of withstanding high heat and humidity. Columbia University researchers did not have a run-of-the mill IVD device in mind when they approached SurModics early...
  • How Insects Inspired New Hearing Aid Microphones

    Researchers are in the midst of developing a new hearing aid with a directional microphone designed to eliminate unwanted background noise — similar to the ear of an insect.Kristopher SturgisMussel- and gecko-inspired adhesives, artificial blood vessels made of spider silk, cuttlefish-inspired ingestible sensors… There have been plenty of research breakthroughs over the years that have been inspired by nature. Researchers from Glasgow decided to run with the same approach when developing...
  • Think You Have the Coolest Technology at MD&M East? Prove It.

    UBM Canon is looking to identify the most innovative exhibitors at MD&M East and give them the attention they deserve. The Supplier Innovation Challenge is a contest that will acknowledge the most innovative products, services, and technologies developed in recent years by exhibitors at MD&M East, held June 9–11 in New York City.Finalists in the contest will be honored at the show as well as on UBM Canon’s industry-leading Qmed and MD+DI websites and newsletters. Finalists will also get...
  • 5 Things You Need To Know About Ultrasonic Welding for Medical Devices

    There are plenty of benefits to be had from ultrasonic welding for medical devices. But there are important things to consider.Ken Fine, Proven Process Medical DevicesUltrasonic welding is well suited for bonding medical devices because it uses the device material itself to form a bond, without introducing glues or adhesives.It is ideal for joining plastic parts in a fast, clean, efficient, and repeatable process. All kinds of specific guidelines for material selection come into play: joint and...
  • A Wearable That Monitors Your Blood Noninvasively

    A startup has invented a wrist-worn technology that uses light to analyze everything from hydration levels to blood pressure. Brian BuntzEchoLabs technology uses spectroscopy to measure health metrics. Shown here is a rendering of its future technology. The startup EchoLabs hopes to pioneer what it terms third-generation wearable technology, providing more meaningful data than step counters (representing the first wave of wearables) or activity monitors like the Basis Watch and the...
  • Almost Painless Blood Test Could Hit Market in 2016

    The simple device can extract small samples of blood within two minutes. Kristopher SturgisThe device, roughly the size of a pingpong ball, can extract a small sample while held against the skin for two minutes. Photo by David Tenenbaum.A small startup known as Tasso Inc.(Madison, WI) has taken on the project of developing a blood sampling device that is less painful, quicker, and more convenient than today’s current processes through the development of a device the size of a pingpong ball.The...
  • Insights from the Maker of the Smallest Implantable Hearing Device

    The device is also first implantable hearing device to offer iPhone support.Brian BuntzThe Baha 5 sound processor is the smallest implantable hearing device on the market. The new Baha 5 hearing device from Cochlear Ltd. (Sydney, Australia) is unique in two ways: First, it is said to be the smallest bone conduction sound processor in the industry. And second, it is the first hearing implant to be compatible with iPhones, iPads, and iPad touch devices. The iOS device integration enables users to...
  • Wireless Bottlenecks in the Medtech Industry

    Before the medical device industry can fully adopt wireless technologies, it must surmount a range of hurdles, not least those posed by regulatory agencies.Bob MichaelsThe proliferation of smartphones means that small, inexpensive sensors, low-energy Bluetooth, and analytic software are enabling patients and doctors to capture all kinds of data to improve healthcare, comments Nias Puthenveettil, director of the chief technology office at Cerner Health Services. As a result, patients can play a...
  • 6 Things You Need to Check to Make Sure Your Supplier's Culture Is a Fit

    Quality audits are routine for medical device OEMs. But “cultural audits” take it to another level.Chris NewmarkerIt is one thing to demonstrate that you’re producing quality products. It’s another thing to understand the people who are behind the quality systems and responsible for delivering on the high levels of quality that are promised.Officials at the OEM Division of B. Braun Medical (Bethlehem, PA) want the latter from the manufacturers they contract with, as well as the customers...
  • How to Get the Most Out of 3-D Printing—and Avoid Rotten Miracles

    In this Q&A, a 3-D printing expert dishes advice on how to keep 3-D printing projects on track and channels advice from the iconic film The Princess Bride.Brian BuntzRon Belknap is president and CEO of ProtoCAM3-D printing, along with the Internet of Things and nanotechnology, could spark the next industrial revolution. The medical device field is poised to see big gains from 3-D printing technology, which is finding growing use for prototyping and production of finished parts.  To get...
  • Your 5 Step Blueprint for Great Medtech Design Reviews

    Design reviews can help your medical device engineers stay on track—if done correctly.Jon SpeerOptimizing the process for design reviews can help product development stay on track, says Jon Speer, cofounder of Greenlight.guru.One of my favorite parts of the design control process is design reviews. If you’ve conducted design reviews of your own, you may think I’m crazy. It is true that, if they’re not done properly, design reviews can seem like a huge waste of time, and developers too often...
  • How a Tiny Camera Could Prevent Deadly Superbug Outbreaks

    A new mandate recommended by the firm would prevent reprocessors from relying solely on visual inspection of hard-to-clean reusable medical devices. Kristopher SturgisFollowing the superbug outbreak that killed two patients and infected five more, minimally invasive device maker Sanovas (San Rafael, CA) is calling for a new inspection protocol for reusable devices such as duodenoscopes, which were implicated in the recent hospital acquired infections.The protocol would rely on what the company...
  • This Materials Innovation Could Enable Cheap Tests for Pathogens

    A U.S. research team says it has integrated cellulose paper and flexible polyester films to create new diagnostic tools.Nancy CrottiU.S. researchers claim they’ve found a way to quickly and inexpensively diagnose HIV, E-coli, Staphylococcus aureus and other microbes anywhere. The solution involves using a biosensing platform made of paper and flexible substrates to analyze a drop of blood from a finger prick.The researchers—from Florida Atlantic University, Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and...
  • 3 Examples of Consumer-Inspired Drug-Delivery Devices

    Qmed sat down with an executive at West Pharmaceutical Services to learn about consumer-friendly injection devices.Brian BuntzThe popularity of consumer devices such as smartphones and tablet computers is fueled by their impressive technology and their ease of use, with the latter being a crucial ingredient. “The user interface on the iPhone, for instance is very intuitive. People of all skill levels can use it,” explains Graham Reynolds, vice president, marketing and communications, delivery...
  • How 3-D Printing Injection Molds Can Save You Time and Money

    A growing number of device firms are using 3-D printing to produce injection molds. Brian BuntzNadav SellaAbout five years ago, Nadav Sella, now director, manufacturing tools at Stratasys, spotted a company using 3-D printing to make injection molds. “I was very enthusiastic about the process and I started working to develop the technology,” Sella says, who at that time was working at Object. (Stratasys and Objet would merge in 2012.)Fast forward to present, and Stratasys now has dozens of...
  • Everything You Need to Know about Medical Robotics in One Infographic

    A new infographic highlighting noteworthy applications for robotics in medicine was produced by Worrell Design (Minneapolis) and physician-scientist Daniel Kraft. Included below are several items routinely covered on Qmed, such as microbots, drones, exoskeletons, and mind-controlled prosthetics. A high-res version of the infographic is also available from the Worrell Design website.Refresh your medical device industry knowledge at BIOMEDevice Boston, May 6–7, 2015.Like what you’re reading?...
  • Q&A: The Story Behind Poultry-Derived Antibacterial Bioplastics

     It turns out that nontraditional bioplastic materials could possibly provide a more efficient solution to the petroleum-based plastics currently in use in hospitals around the country, according to researchers at the University of Georgia (UGA). Kristopher SturgisAlex Jones, a doctoral student from UGA, is studying the antibacterial properties of bioplastics.To learn more about the potential medical applications of bioplastics, we reached out to Alexander Jones, a UGA doctoral student and...
  • As Injectors Evolve, So Does Testing Technology

    Injector pens and autoinjection devices are emerging that meet higher standards of quality, accuracy, and ease of use. Testing equipment is being developed to keep up with this trend.Erik BerndtFor U.S. diabetic patients requiring insulin, the use of the traditional vial and syringe is still predominant, though such syringes are beginning to lose favor. Physicians are concerned that these syringes make it difficult to obtain a high dosing accuracy while patients also find them cumbersome to use...
  • Battery or Supercapacitor: How About a Hybrid Supercapacitor?

    UCLA researchers’ hybrid supercapacitor is meant to combine the best qualities of the two technologies.Qmed StaffUCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute may have hit on a solution to a dilemma involving storing power of electrical devices, according to a report in Qmed’s fellow UBM Canon publication EE|Times.The hybrid supercapacitor the UCLA team developed has the benefits of a supercapacitor in that it is able to withstand more than 10,000 recharge cycles and charges quickly. But it also has...