• Tiny Chip Could Enable Early Cancer Diagnosis

    The latest achievement in the development of the long-prophesied lab-on-a-chip has been announced by an international team of researchers led by Romain Quidant, PhD, at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO; Barcelona, Spain).The lab-on-a-chip can detect very low levels of protein cancer markers.Using the latest advances in plasmonics, nanofabrication, microfluidics, and surface chemistry, the device is able to detect very low concentrations of protein cancer markers that may enable...
  • Plastics and Metals Team Up in Medical Device Apps

    By Rudi Gall, Raumedic Inc.Polymers and plastics such as thermoplastic polyurethanes, polyamides, polyolefins, thermoplastic elastomers, and plasticized polyvinyl chloride have continually made their way into medical device applications in recent decades. Increasingly, these materials have been used as substitutes for metals, glass, and other substrate materials because they offer better workability, enable greater design versatility, and lower costs. Anyone who has paid a recent visit to a...
  • Could Bluetooth Smart Spark a Digital Health Revolution?

    The latest iteration of Bluetooth—called Bluetooth Low Energy or Bluetooth Smart—may be enabling the digital health revolution to actually happen. Qualcomm, for one, is an enthusiastic adopter.The San Diego–based communications giant's Qualcomm Life subsidiary announced earlier this year that its 2net Hub, the company’s plug-and-play home gateway for health monitoring devices, has become one of the first hubs that is both an FDA Class I medical device and is able to communicate with devices...
  • NASA Breathalyzer Sniffs Out Cancer

    The Vantage Health Sensor is a prototype Bluetooth-enabled breath tester that works with any smartphone for the early detection of lung cancer (soon) and, eventually, numerous other diseases.The Vantage Health Sensor (Courtesy Vantage Health Inc.)Employing patented technology licensed from NASA, Vantage Health Inc. (Redwood City, CA) is developing the sensor and companion app first for lung cancer detection, then for other diseases. The sensor and app are currently in the prototype...
  • Soon You Can Have Your Battery and Wear It Too

    Chalk up another “Amazing!” for the miracle materials graphene and carbon nanotubes.Graphene and carbon nanotube hybrid fiber (Courtesy Nanyang Technological University)A team of researchers from Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), Tsinghua University (Beijing), and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU; Cleveland, OH) has developed a fiber-like supercapacitor made from graphene and carbon nanotubes that is flexible enough to be woven into clothing and has the highest energy density...
  • Why Heartbleed Is a Worry for Medtech

    The Heartbleed bug has caused plenty of security concerns for Internet and financial companies—not to mention the ordinary people with email and financial accounts who are now worried about hacked passwords.It turns out that medical device companies and the health providers using devices should be concerned, too.“A lot of medical devices are susceptible to this,” Rebecca Herold, the “Privacy Professor” who is CEO of Des Moines, IA–based Rebecca Herold & Associates, said on Wednesday at the...
  • How Watson Will Change Medtech

    IBM quickly turned to healthcare as the next application for its Watson supercomputer, after it famously trumped human Jeopardy opponents in 2011. Already, Watson is being used by the likes of Wellpoint and Memorial Sloan Kettering. The medical device industry, too, stands to benefit from Watson's prowess, says Eric Brown, director of Watson Technologies at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY.“I think at the foundation here, we are creating what we call cognitive...
  • Prosthetic Arms 3-D Printed for Sudan War Victims

    State-of-the-art 3-D printing technology is now helping amputees in the war-torn Nuba Mountains in South Sudan, primarily due to the efforts of Mick Ebeling and his Not Impossible Labs (Venice, CA).Daniel Omar, the first recipient of the 3-D printed arms, was only 14 years old when both his arms were blown off in a Sudanese government airstrike. After Ebeling's visit, he was able to feed himself for the first time in two years with his new 3-D printed prosthetic arm.Daniel (r) and Mohammad and...
  • What Needs to Happen Before Watson Can Fix Healthcare

    Need to find which research articles out of hundreds of thousands have the best suggestions for treating a medical condition? A supercomputer such as IBM’s Watson can help immensely. But a doctor is still needed to make the final decision.“I view this kind of process as decision support and augmentation, not decision making,” Martin Kohn, MD, the former chief medical scientist at IBM, said Tuesday at the 10X Medical Device Conference, held outside Minneapolis.Watson—which initially gained...
  • 10 Rules for Designing Great Medical Devices

    From keeping track of most serious medical device recalls to exploring the sources of medical device failure, Qmed spends plenty of time looking into what goes wrong in the design process. But what are the rules that allow for safe and highly effective design?Eric ClaudeQmed recently asked this question on the Medical Devices Group on LinkedIn, and received a useful response from Eric Claude, vice president of product development at MPR Associates (Alexandria, VA). Claude has been...
  • Don’t Forget about Plastics

    Remember the scene in “The Graduate” where the Dustin Hoffman character is taken aside by a family friend? And he says just one important word of advice: “plastics.” That's kind of what it feels like reading a recent article in Qmed/MPMN’s UBM sister publication, Plastics Today, called “Would any of the top medical devices of all time be possible without plastics?” Reacting to a Qmed/MPMN look into the greatest medical devices of all time, Clare Goldsberry recounts the work of three late,...
  • MIT Student's Startup Invents Cheap Malaria Rapid Test

    “What if I told you I could save one million lives with just refrigerator magnets and a laser pointer?” asks MIT graduate student John R. Lewandowski, who is also founder and CEO of Disease Diagnostic Group (DDG; Shaker Heights, OH).Lewandowski is one of the inventors of the Rapid Assessment of Malaria (RAM) device, a battery-powered machine that uses magnets and lasers to identify malaria-infected blood. Along with Case Western Reserve University Medical School malaria expert Brian T. Grimberg...
  • How Data Can Ensure a Successful Supplier Tooling Transfer

    OK, who’s heard of a supplier tooling transfer that’s gone off the rails? Pretty much everyone it seems…Every major tooling transfer presents unique situations and challenges, and when it’s not our core business, we tend to focus on what is tangible. We might think to ourselves: “Hey, if we change to that molding supplier over there, we can cut our costs and increase our profit. Let’s send an audit team to the new supplier and make sure they can do what they say they can do. Then we can pull...
  • Medtech Developers Share How Their Products Were Used on Family

    Most of our medtech design and engineering readers at Qmed/MPMN say they they would be comfortable implanting their medical devices in themselves and their relatives.  In hindsight, the results of the recent informal survey, in which about 95% were either comfortable or somewhat comfortable, are pretty expected. But some of the anonymous comments are pretty interesting, if not downright inspiring. There are medtech designers telling stories of  relatives actually using...
  • 95% of MedTech Developers Confident in Their Devices

    More than 86% of you would feel comfortable if the medical device you are developing were used on yourself or a loved one.That is the conclusion of an informal Qmed/MPMN survey of our medical device developer readers, which also found that an additional 9% would be “somewhat comfortable” in such a situation.With 177 respondents at the time or writing, slightly more than 2% would be “somewhat uncomfortable” and just over 1% would be “uncomfortable” if the device they were developing was...
  • Apple's Health-Tracking EarPods Might Launch Soon

    Apple's next-gen EarPods may include health monitoring (Courtesy Apple)It would seem that Apple's PR and social media department has been working overtime again to keep the rumor mill stoked and buzzing. But that's what they do...One has the sneaking suspicion that someone (or perhaps several someones) keeps a realtime tweet rate monitor on their desktop and whenever the numbers fall below a certain threshold, out pops a fresh, tantalizing tidbit of “insider” gossip.We recently...
  • Why Parylene Is Still a Go-To Medical Device Coating

    Include parylene with the list of medical device materials that have been around for decades, in this case providing a reliable protective coating for devices.Part of the reason may have to do with how difficult it is to get new types of materials approved with the FDA. But Specialty Coating Systems officials are quick to point out that parylene has plenty of benefits going for it.See Dick Molin, senior medical market specialist at Specialty Coating Systems, discuss parylene at the Tech Theater...
  • 4 Things You Need to Know about MedTech Suppliers

    Shore, director of quality at Nypro, spoke on supplier controls at MD&M Texas on Wednesday, May 7.Jim Shore knows more than a thing or two about enhancing relationships between medical device OEMs and suppliers. A few years back, he was part of a program at Boston Scientific that reduced field actions among its contract manufacturers from 11 down to three—leading to about $8 million in savings.Shore, who is now director of quality at Nypro (Clinton, MA), says the strategy was to...
  • Next-Gen Battery May Charge in Under a Minute

    The novel properties of quantum dots, nanocrystals that are small enough to exhibit quantum mechanical properties, are being employed by Israeli startup StoreDot Ltd. to create a battery that can be fully charged in less than a minute.Quantum dots exhibit properties that are still being explored by researchers. While other types of quantum dots are made of semiconductor materials such as gallium arsenide, these dots are bio-organic and are made of amino acid peptides."We were able to take the...
  • Microbots Propelled by Magnetism Carry, Assemble Payload

    Researchers in many different labs are tackling the same goal of engineering nanodevices that can fight disease from within the body from many different angles.We have recently reported on the Israeli scientists who built DNA origami nanoboxes inside a living cockroach, the Harvard researchers who made stealthy DNA nanodevices invisible to a mouse's immune system, and the MIT chemists who have constructed cancer-fighting nanoparticles that deliver three drugs at once.Now, two scientists at...