• The First Full-Body MRI and Other Advances

        The First Full-Body MRI and Other Advances36. Morton Mower, MD (1933–)U.S. cardiologist Mower was also instrumental in the development of the automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator along with Michel Mirowski. He has also contributed to pacemaker advances. He was included in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002.37. Peter Mansfield (1933–)The British physicist Sir Peter Mansfield worked with Paul Lauterbur on important MRI research in the 1970s that earned them...
  • More Pacemaker Breakthroughs, Heart Valves, and the First ICD

         More Pacemaker Breakthroughs, Heart Valves, and the First ICD26. Alejandro Zaffaroni (1923–2014)The Uruguayan-born serial entrepreneur pioneered controlled drug delivery systems modelled after the processes discovered in endocrinology.27. Earl Bakken (1924–)Earl Bakken, the co-founder of Medtronic, developed the first battery-operated external pacemaker in the late 1957. An electrical engineer by training, he developed the device after at the behest of open-...
  • CT Scanners and Diabetes Technology

         CT Scanners and Diabetes Technology21. Wilson Greatbatch (1919–2011)The American engineer and inventor’s achievements included his work on implantable pacemakers. He joined William Chardack, MD, and Andrew Gage, MD, at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Buffalo, NY, in the late 1950s to develop what would become the Chardack-Greatbatch implantable pulse generator produced by Medtronic.22–23. Godfrey Hounsfield (1919–2004) and Allan McLeod Cormack (1924–1998)The two...
  • How to Turn Stents Into Brain-Computer Interfaces

    DARPA-funded Australian researchers have hit upon an intriguing brain-computer interface solution: stents souped up with electrodes. Nancy CrottiThe “stentrode” adapts an off-the-shelf stent, including an electrode array for recording. (Image courtesy of University of Melbourne)What do you get when you cross a stent with a bunch of electrodes? It is a “stentrode,” a minimally invasive brain implant made from off-the-shelf components to help patients with physical disabilities and neurological...
  • Soft Contact Lenses, Pacemakers, and Heart Valves

         Soft Contact Lenses, Pacemakers, and Heart Valves16. Otto Wichterle (1913–1998)The Czech chemist invented soft contact lenses.17–18. Ake Senning (1915–2000) and Rune Elmqvist (1906–1996)The first implantable pacemaker was developed through collaboration by cardiac surgeon Ake Senning and the doctor and engineer Rune Elmqvist in Sweden. They implanted their first pacemaker in 43-year-old Arne Larsson in 1958; he died at age 86 after using a total 26 pacemakers. An...
  • Blood Banks, Catheters, and Hip Replacements

         Blood Banks, Catheters, and Hip Replacements11.  Charles R. Drew (1904–1950)The African-American surgeon pioneered improved techniques for blood storage. Early in World War II, he helped create large scale blood banks. His work led to the American Red Cross Blood Bank, though the Drew himself resigned from the Red Cross in protest of its racial segregation of blood donations.12. David S. Sheridan (1908–2004)David S. Sheridan—a serial entrepreneur dubbed the "...
  • More X-rays and EKGs

         More X-rays and EKGs6. Willem Einthoven (1860–1927)The Dutch doctor and physiologist is best known for his invention of a practical electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) (an early version as shown on Wikipedia is shown above). It was an achievement that won him the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1924.7. William D. Coolidge  (1873–1975)The General Electric researcher invented the Coolidge tube for x-ray machines in 1913. “The key advantages of the Coolidge...
  • Top 50 Medical Device Inventors of All Time

         Top 50 Medical Device Inventors of All TimeIn this chronological feature, we round up the most important medical device innovators from the early 1800s to the present.Continue >>Learn more about cutting-edge medical devices at MD&M East, June 14–15, 2016 in New York City.
  • The Earliest Medical Device Innovators

         The Earliest Medical Device Innovators1. René Laennec (1781–1826) French physician René Laennec is credited with inventing the first stethoscope in 1816. It was pretty much just an ear trumpet pressed on the chest, but it marked one of the first times that physicians sought to explore the inner workings of the body without cutting a patient open.2–3. Charles Gabriel Pravaz (1791–1853) and Alexander Wood (1817–1884)The first devices recognizable...
  • Philips Debuts Wireless Patch to Monitor Vitals

    The new technology seamlessly connects a wearable biosensor that can monitor patients’ vital signs wirelessly, and transmit the data to remotely to a caregiver or clinician.Kristopher SturgisRoyal Philips has launched a medical-grade biosensor that automatically and continuously measures clinically vital signs including heart and respiratory rates, skin temperature, respiratory rate intervals, and body posture. It can even detect falls while the patient is in their room. The biosensor then...
  • How Algae Might Help the Blind Be Able to See

    The burgeoning field of optogenetics, which merges optical stimulation with genetic engineering, is one of the hottest research areas in neuroscience research and for good reason: it enables scientist to control neurons with light.  Now, researchers are working on using optogenetics to help the blind gain some degree of vision. Brian BuntzThe startup RetroSense Therapeutics (Ann Arbor, MI) is planning on conducting the first human test of optogentics on a legally blind patient. In the...
  • What's Hot and What's Not in Medtech

         What's Hot and What's Not in MedtechWe take a look at the most promising medical device technologies and contrast them with a roundup of devices that have failed to live up to their promise. Continue >>Learn more about cutting-edge medical devices at BIOMEDevice Boston, April 13–14, 2016.Like what you're reading? Subscribe to our daily e-newsletter.
  • 1. Hot: Surgical Robotics

         1. Hot: Surgical RoboticsSurgical robotics is a field that was red hot, and then cooled considerably amidst criticism that the technology was hyped, overpriced, and not as safe as conventional minimally invasive surgery.The biggest company active in the niche, Intuitive Surgical had a rough year in 2013 after receiving a warning letter and being hit with a number of lawsuits, helping to beat down its share price by more than $100—from $500 per share to less than $400....
  • 2. Hot: IBM Watson

        Medtronic's Omar Ishrak shares the stage at CES with IBM's CEO Ginni Rometty to discuss the use of Watson in a diabetes app. 2. Hot: IBM WatsonIBM seems hell-bent on making its Watson technology into a disruptive force in medicine. Just last week, IBM announced that it was effectively doubling the size of its Watson Health division through the acquisition of Truven Health.At CES this year, IBM and Medtronic discussed their collaboration...
  • 3. Lukewarm: Miniature Leadless Pacemakers

         3. Lukewarm: Miniature Leadless PacemakersA mind-blowing feat of engineering, leadless pacemakers could prove to be a cash cow for Medtronic and St. Jude (its Nanostim is shown above), which both have such products on the market in Europe. (Boston Scientific and Biotronik are each developing their own versions of the devices, which fit within the heart's right ventricle.) But an FDA panel recently ruled that the devices warrant long-term scrutiny. One of the concerns...
  • 4. Hot: TAVR

         4. Hot: TAVRIn 2012, MD+DI asked whether TAVR was the next-big-thing in cardiology and, four years later, it appears that there is no other device technology more deserving of that title. The technology has fueled much of Edwards Lifesciences' growth, catapulting the technology from the $30-per-share range in 2012 to all time highs in the high $80 range that its stock has only recently achieved. Medtronic has also seen its Corevalve TAVR segment grow briskly as...
  • 5. Lukewarm: Bioabsorbable Stents

         5. Lukewarm: Bioabsorbable StentsFor about a decade, bioabsorbable stents were hailed as one of the most promising technologies in cardiology. Now, the future prospects of the technology are less than certain after a clinical trial found that the technology was merely "noninferior" to Abbott's preexisting Xience stent.Abbott has spent some 15 years developing its Absorb device and physicians had been anxiously following clinical trials related to the device, which...
  • 6. Hot: Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement

         6. Hot: Transcatheter Mitral Valve ReplacementWith TAVR generating so much buzz, transcatheter mitral valve replacement devices appear to be the next cardiovascular technology. Abbott Laboratories, Edwards Lifesciences, and Medtronic each poured hundreds of millions of dollars into acquiring early-stage companies with technology in the space. Mitral valve disease is the most prevalent valve disease in the world, according to Abbott, which expects a...
  • 7. Hot: 3-D Mammography

         7. Hot: 3-D MammographyThe company Hologic had helped develop some of the first digital mammography systems. Last year, the company was one of the best-performing medical device companies, thanks in part to its 3-D mammography technology, which has been proven to be more accurate at detecting tumors than the traditional 2-D mammography.Last year, the technology helped drive Hologic's stock up 45% during the first nine months of 2015. The Bedford, MA–...
  • 8. Not Hot: Renal Denervation

         8. Not Hot: Renal DenervationAfter the technology had developed the reputation for being the next-big-thing in medtech—or, at least, one of the most promising technologies in the medical device industry—renal denervation is all but forgotten now after Medtronic released the disappointing clinical trial results in 2014 that found, essentially, that the technology was safe but possibly not effective at reducing treatment-resistant hypertension. The Symplicity HTN-3 study...