• Miniaturization

        It’s not easy to fit high-powered electronics, storage capacity, communications infrastructure, and security capabilities into a postage-stamp sized device. Increasingly complex components and technology are offering improved data collection and functionality, while medical device portability for home use increasingly becomes a consideration in the design phase. The need for miniaturization is even greater for implantable and wearable devices that are intended to allow...
  • Time to Market

        FDA approvals for medical devices move slowly, a fact that’s not likely to change as the importance of safety warrants an abundance of caution. This challenge isn’t unique to home healthcare devices. The cybersecurity threat just discussed, however, builds an entirely different dimension to the issue of timing. Cyber hackers work quickly to come up with new points of entry and exploit new vulnerabilities. The medical device approval system isn’t designed for speedy...
  • Cybersecurity

        Many wearable and implantable medical devices are designed to collect patients’ health data on the go. These devices are then capable of transmitting information over the Internet to healthcare providers. Protecting this data raises two major concerns. First, there is the issue of privacy and compliance with HIPAA regulations. Second, the prospect of malicious hacking is hard to ignore. Security threats can be mitigated using existing encryption and safety technologies, but...
  • 5 Challenges of Moving Medtech to the Home

        Medical devices are increasingly moving out of healthcare settings and into people's homes. Here are five pitfalls that device designers should watch out for, courtesy of Kenneth Fine, president of Proven Process Medical Devices.Kenneth FineThe practice of home-based healthcare is on the rise, along with demand for medical devices that can be used at home for patient care and monitoring. Cost pressures and the preference for rehabilitating in one’s personal residence—along...
  • What Medtech Do You Think Is Promising?

    The Wall Street Journal has additional examples of promising medical technologies. We’d like to hear from you, our readers, about what is catching your eye.   Chris NewmarkerUpdated July 6, 2016From human trials getting ready to start on CRISPR gene editing technology to tiny, bioabsorbable brain sensors, medical device industry experts provided Qmed a lot of fodder when it came to the 10 most promising medical technologies of 2016.(Check out the full slideshow!)So here's the next...
  • Robot Reproduction

        It might be possible someday to "breed" robots, allowing the robots themselves to select out what traits are most "attractive" in environments with unanticipated challenges. That is the tantalizing idea presented by a research team at VU Amsterdam, who say they have demonstrated a rudimentary proof of concept.Self-reproducing medical nano robots inside the body could one day act as a "personal virus scanner" to fight germs and cancer cells, according to Guszti Eiben, an...
  • Surgical Sensors and Robots Evolve

        Surgery is increasingly becoming digital amid new robotic surgery entrants, and those systems rely on novel technologies such as Chicago-based Briteseed's Safesnips, says Craig Scherer, senior partner at Insight Product Development and director of the Insight Accelerator Labs. (Briteseed is a Insight Accelerator Labs charter member.) Briteseed's low-cost optical sensors integrate directly into the jaws of surgical dissectors and energy tools, providing real-time information...
  • Leadless Pacemakers Become Widespread

        FDA's approval earlier this year of Medtronic's Micra pacemaker is just the beginning, says Paul Iaizzo, PhD, professor of surgery, integrative biology and physiology at the University of Minnesota. (See Iaizzo discuss structural heart innovation at MD&M Minneapolis, September 21–22 in Minneapolis.)"I think the leadless pacemaker technology will be huge globally," Iaizzo says. "There are not enough trained cardiac electrophysiologists worldwide to put...
  • A Connected Hearing Aid Going Beyond Basic Hearing Function

        Hearing aids are usually not the first product that come to mind when medtech innovation is discussed. But hearing aid company Oticon has developed the Oticon Opn, a hearing aid that incorporates Internet of Things (IoT) into its functions using the If This Then That (IFTTT) network. This means users can link their hearing aid to their household alarms, lights, and doorbells, notes Yuhgo Yamaguchi, principal design strategist at Continuum (Boston).“IoT is a pretty common...
  • Traumatic Brain Injury Detection Enabled by Software

        The medical, military, sports, and other communities have rallied together to detect traumatic brain injuries (TBI) sooner. One problem is that the expensive, complex medical equipment used to diagnose TBIs—like CT or MRI scanners—is not easily accessible in many situations. Researchers at the University of Aberdeen have used funding from the United Kingdom’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s Centre for Defence Enterprise to develop software that can be used with...
  • A New Bio-Ink for Bioprinting Innovation

        University of Bristol researchers say they were able to engineer 3-D printed tissue structures including a full-size tracheal cartilage ring over five weeks. How did they do this? The secret was a special bio-ink formulation, infused with stem cells and created after an arduous trial and error process.Printing with living cells to create human tissue has been a major medical technology goal, but has been a complex challenge to solve as researchers struggle to get cells to...
  • A Potentially Revolutionary Heart Failure Treatment

         There are estimated to be more than 2 million patients with chronic heart failure who are no longer served well by their drug regimen, yet aren’t considered sick enough for an invasive surgery to receive a transplant or left ventricular assist device (LVAD). Procyrion, a Houston, TX, company that won MD+DI’s 2016 Medtech Startup Showdown is developing the Aortix device for these patients. The tiny pump will be delivered via transfemoral catheter to sit in the patient’s...
  • Using Devices Instead of Drugs to Manage Pain

        Neuroelectrics, a startup in Cambridge, MA, is developing technologies that use electroencephalogram (EEG) and transcranial current stimulation to help diagnose and improve brain function in patients with various conditions, such as those suffering from chronic pain or recovering from a stroke.  “Neuroelectrics' technology is used to wirelessly stimulate the brain for healing purposes but also for pain management, especially important as there is a worldwide push to...
  • Biodegradable Sensors

        Tiny sensors made out of thin sheets of silicon are able to monitor temperature and pressure inside the skull, then melt away after they've done their job, according to researchers led by John Rogers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Wilson Ray at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.The advantage of the implantable rice-grain-sized sensors is that they can remain functional during a healing and recovery period—then dissolve and...
  • The 10 Most Promising Medical Technologies of 2016

        We’ve asked industry experts to name the most game-changing medical technologies making news this year.  Chris Newmarker and Marie Thibault From using gene-editing therapy in human beings to device-delivered pain management to biodegradable brain sensors, there are many promising medical device technologies to point to so far this year.  Here are 10 that especially stuck out to medtech experts.Continue >>Check out a panel about emerging medical...
  • New Gene Editing Tool Moves to Human Trial

        A U.S. federal biosafety and ethics committee has unanimously approved the world’s first human study on the powers of the genome-editing technology CRISPR/Cas9, according to media reports. The study, proposed by University of Pennsylvania researchers, aims to use CRISPR to create genetically-altered immune cells to attack cancer. David Albert, MD, former chief clinical scientist at GE Healthcare and and presently founder and chief medical officer at smartphone-based...
  • New Gene Editing Tech Could Be Used in People Soon

    A U.S. federal biosafety and ethics committee has unanimously approved the world’s first human study on the powers of the genome-editing technology CRISPR/Cas9, according to media reports. The study aims to use CRISPR to create genetically-altered immune cells to attack cancer.Kristopher SturgisA 3-D printed model of Cas9, a DNA-cutting enzyme that is used by CRISPR. (Image courtesy of NIH Image Gallery)The new experiment was proposed by scientists from the University of Pennsylvania where the...
  • These New Energy Advances Could Matter

    Stanford engineers develop new technologies that provide a clean source of hydrogen fuel, and the world’s first rechargeable zinc batteries. Both are potential tools for medical device designers.Kristopher SturgisA conventional zinc battery (left) has problems with dendrites growing from the zinc anode and making contact with the metal cathode, causing a short circuit. The redesigned Stanford battery (right) employs plastic and carbon insulators to keep zinc dendrites from reaching the cathode...
  • Why the New Clot-Removing Devices Are Revolutionary

    A new study has confirmed what an earlier one hinted at in 2014—that clot-removing devices have revolutionized treatment for stroke patients who cannot tolerate clot-busting drugs.Nancy CrottiThe Stryker Trevo ProVue Retrieval System allows health provides to visualize deployment for accurate placement. (Image courtesy of Stryker)The new study, by researchers from Loyola University, showed that the Stryker Trevo and Medtronic Solitaire stent retrievers did a remarkably better job of removing...
  • Hackers Really Love to Attack Medical Devices

    Report says “overwhelming majority of medical devices deployed within medical facilities are susceptible in varying degrees.” And there's an important reason why, too.Nancy CrottiMEDJACK 2: It sounds like a movie title, but it’s all too real.A new report on hospital data breaches reveals that hackers are now increasingly targeting medical devices that use legacy operating systems with known vulnerabilities.The second annual report by TrapX Security, MEDJACK 2 explains how attackers have evolved...