• BD to Spend $100 Million on Nebraska Syringe Plant

    Becton, Dickinson and Co. plans to expand its ability to manufacture insulin syringes at the factory. Chris Newmarker BD's Holdrege, NE, plant. (Image courtesy of BD)BD recently announced a $100 million investment in new technology and manufacturing equipment at its Holdrege, NE, insulin syringes plant.The goal is to expand capacity to make syringes at the factory. BD already makes more than 2 billion insulin syringes annually. That comes to more than 250,000 syringes per hour.“About 40 percent...
  • Trump Versus Clinton: Medical R&D

     Clinton has said she will support investing in science and technology research and development, as well as in technology transfer. She has also pledged to improve the patent system to reward innovators, and ensure an effective copyright system that protects creative content, while unlocking access to orphan works and promoting open-licensing arrangements for materials supported by federal grant funding. She also said she will affirm strong consumer protection values without stifling...
  • Trump Versus Clinton: Reforming Medicare/Medicaid

    Trump has promised to “preserve Medicare for future generations,” and to “review basic options for Medicaid and work with states to ensure that those who want healthcare coverage can have it.”He would also administer Medicaid money to the states in the form of block grants, removing “federal overhead.” States would have incentives to seek out and eliminate Medicaid fraud, waste, and abuse, he said.Trump has also said he would take care of low-income people “maybe through concepts of Medicare,”...
  • Is Trump or Clinton Better for Medtech?

        With the U.S. presidential election now upon us, we take a look at where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on issues that matter to the medical device industry. Nancy CrottiUpdated November 7, 2016Which major U.S. candidate is best for the medical device industry? One clue to answering the question comes from a recent Rand Corp. report published by the Commonwealth Fund. The report found Clinton's healthcare plan would provide health insurance coverage for 9 million...
  • Trump Versus Clinton: Medical Device Tax

    Hillary Clinton has hedged on making the repeal of  the medical device tax permanent, even when she spoke to an AdvaMed conference. Her stance on the tax remained noncommittal this year, too, according to a representative of her campaign. Congress granted the medtech industry a two-year reprieve from the 2.3% tax in when it passed a roughly $1 trillion spending bill in December 2015. The industry has described the tax, which went into effect at the beginning of 2013, as a jobs-killer...
  • Trump Versus Clinton: 'Inversion' Merger Deals

    Trump has said he does not blame companies for wanting to go overseas to save money on their taxes. Instead, he's blamed high U.S. corporate taxes for prompting them to flee. Trump has proposed cutting the top corporate tax ratefrom 35% to 15% percent as a way to lure businesses back to the United States. He has  also proposed a one-time “repatriation tax holiday” that would allow each company that has money overseas to bring it home tax-free. He later changed that proposal to say he’d...
  • Trump Versus Clinton: Obamacare

    Clinton has taken a strong stance against repealing the Affordable Care Act, and has pledged to expand taxpayer-funded health insurance, pushed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as the “public option.” According to CNN, Clinton has supported a public option for health insurance for years.Trump says that he would “ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare” and would work with Congress on passing reforms based on free-market principles to “broaden healthcare access, make...
  • Former Starkey Execs Charged With Stealing $20 Million

    An indictment unveiled in Minnesota claims a complicated web of sham companies and dummy entities set up to siphon away money from the privately held hearing aid manufacturer and developer. Chris NewmarkerJerry Ruzicka A year after the president, chief financial officer, and human resources vice president were fired from hearing aid manufacturer Starkey, a federal indictment charges the three men and two others of running a complicated conspiracy that stole $20 million over nine years....
  • Mind-Controlled Exoskeleton Could Help Paraplegic Children

    University of Houston researchers aim to leverage a new, noninvasive brain-machine interface system that taps into human brainwaves to control and command a wearable exoskeleton—a technology that could enable paraplegic kids to walk.Kristopher SturgisA new study out of the Laboratory for Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interface Systems at the University of Houston (UH) has paved the way for a new exoskeleton technology that will be unveiled at Cybathlon in Zurich — an event where the world’s most...
  • How Tiny Are Medical Device Parts Getting? This Tiny

    Miniaturization is a major trend in the medical device industry, and a great example could be found at Heraeus's booth at MD&M Minneapolis.Chris NewmarkerHeraeus (St. Paul, MN) has been machining medical device parts down to the micron level in recent years. Check out this video from MD&M Minneapolis (Booth #2005) to see just how tiny these parts are:A small correction to the story: One of the millimeter-sized device parts in the video was mistakenly described as rivets....
  • A Better Way to Keep Feet Clean in Healthcare Settings?

    Circuit Solutions used MD&M Minneapolis to tout a new device to keep feet from tracking grime into healthcare settings. Chris NewmarkerWhile there has been significant progress preventing some types of infections, about one in 25 U.S. hospital patients still suffer at least one healthcare-acquired infection on any given today, according to the Centers for Disease Control.Circuit Solutions (Minnetonka, MN) used MD&M Minneapolis to roll out its Vortex Air WalkMat, with...
  • How Medical Device Design Is Like Ping Pong

    Kablooe Design turned to table tennis to teach medical device design lessons at MD&M Minneapolis. Here's why. Chris Newmarker"Playing ping pong is like competing in the marketplace. And if you don't go through the process correctly, if you skip parts of the process, you're going to be at a disadvantage in your development. You're going to be at a disadvantage when you compete as well," says Tom KraMer, CEO of Kablooe Design, located north of Minneapolis. That's why Kablooe Design...
  • Catheter Materials Innovation Wins Top Prize at MD&M Minneapolis

    Polymer extruder Zeus has created catheter polymer braiding with tensile strength comparable to metallic braiding, enabling MRI to be used during catheter based procedures. The innovation won this year's MD&M Minneapolis Innovation Prize. Chris Newmarker Zeus (Orangeburg, SC) on Wednesday won the MD&M Minneapolis Innovation Prize among exhibitors with the non-metallic catheters it is enabling through LCP monofilament fiber launched at the show. Having...
  • How Robotically Assisted Surgery Is Gaining Momentum

    Since the Da Vinci surgical robot made its mark at the turn of the millennium, additional medtech companies have turned their attention to advanced-technology surgical systems and tools—with support from FDA and CMS.Maureen KingsleyThe slow but inevitable—and now quickening—trend toward more automated and robotically assisted surgeries began in earnest in 2000, with the launch of Intuitive Surgical’s Da Vinci system, the first such system approved by FDA. Da Vinci, used for soft-tissue...
  • New Human Neural Stem Cells Could Boost Tissue Engineering

    The new technique can generate rapidly-differentiating human neural stem cells that could be used to build three-dimensional models of human tissue and other tissue engineering applications.Kristopher SturgisThis photo shows human induced neural stem cell lines (red) grown in co-culture with skeletal muscle (green) and cell nuclei visualized by blue DAPI staining.A new technique for tissue engineering has been developed by researchers out of Tufts University in Massachusetts that could pave the...
  • Medtronic Recalls Temporary Pacing Lead System

    The Class 2–level recall involves thousands of devices. Chris NewmarkerFDA recently issued a Class 2 designation for a recall involving thousands of Medtronic temporary lead pacing systems because there is the potential for them to connect to a hazardous voltage. The recall involves 11697 of the Model 6416, with 6174 of the devices in commerce inside the United States. As of  May 23, the devices involved in the recall were made after May 1 2014, with expiration dates through...
  • Should We Trust Robots in Medical Emergencies?

    A recent study has shown that humans place too much trust in robotic technologies during emergency situations, even after they have proven to be unreliable.Kristopher SturgisWhen it comes to robotic technologies, is it possible we’re placing a little too much faith in their abilities? That was the question asked by researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) when they decided to conduct the first study on human-robot trust levels in emergency situations. Paul Robinette, a research...
  • Senate Holds Hearing on Lab-Developed Tests

    Would FDA regulation of laboratory-developed tests add cost and delays or prevent potential danger to patients? A Senate committee took on the topic this week.Nancy CrottiWho should be regulating laboratory-developed tests (LDTs)? Currently, that’s the purview of CMS via the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), through which the agency inspects and licenses commercial and clinical laboratories. In 2014, FDA developed draft guidance for regulating LDTs as medical devices.Two...
  • Philips Teams with Qualcomm to Create Healthcare 'Ecosystem'

    The move will enable providers to remotely monitor and communicate with patients managing health conditions in their own homes.Maureen KingsleyQualcomm Life's 2net Platform will serve as theconnectivity system for Philips Healthsuite. Philips is continuing its deep push into connected, personalized healthcare solutions via a collaboration with Qualcomm Life, the healthcare division of semiconductor maker and telecom giant Qualcomm.Qualcomm Life’s 2net Platform, which comprises 2net Hub,...
  • A Black Market for 3-D Printed Organs?

    The rise in 3-D printing technologies has inched us closer than ever to a world where the press of a button could produce a functioning human heart or kidney—but what if this kind of power falls into the wrong hands?Kristopher SturgisAs 3-D printing technologies advance alongside modern medicine, one of the grim realities of making advanced bioprinting devices available to the public means opening the door for criminals to take advantage of the power to create and manufacture human tissue, as...