From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: May 2013

In the same week in late March, three friends/family of mine entered three different hospitals in three different states. Their illnesses were very different and had varied results.

News : Medical
April Month-End Industry News

Here is the latest batch of news from the medical products community. Please click the link for more.

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News : Medical
Preventing Shoulder Injuries in Baseball Pitchers

A new 3-D motion detection system could help identify baseball pitchers who are at risk for shoulder injuries, according to a new study by scientists at the Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL. The laptop computer-based system can be used right on the field.

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Surgical Robot Influenced by Tree Frog

Researchers at the University of Leeds in the UK are using the feet of tree frogs as the inspiration for a tiny robot designed to crawl inside patients’ bodies during laparoscopic surgery. The tiny device is designed to move across the internal abdominal wall of a patient, allowing surgeons to see what...

News : Software
Finding and Fixing Software Bugs in Surgical Robots

Surgical robots could make some types of surgery safer and more effective, but proving that the software controlling these machines works as intended is problematic. So say researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory,...

News : Medical
Medwatcher App: Keeping Eyes on Devices

MedWatcher is a mobile app available from the iTunes Store or Google Play Store that allows individuals to submit voluntary reports of serious medical device problems to the FDA using a smart phone or tablet. The app makes it easier and faster for healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers to send...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Tiny Surgical Tools to Perform Biopsies

Using hundreds of untethered grippers, each as small as a dust mote, engineers and physicians at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, say they have devised a method to perform biopsies that could provide a more effective way to access narrow conduits in the body as well as find early signs of cancer or...

News : Medical
Pine Cones Inspire Self-Shaping Material

Material scientists from ETH Zurich (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich), who say that they were inspired by plant components like pine cones that respond to external stimuli, have developed a new means of producing composite materials from a variety of materials that adopt a pre-programmed...

News : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Sensor Collects Vitals, Makes E-Health Easier

A tiny, paper-thin skin patch to collect vital information, called the Bio-patch sensor, has been developed by researchers at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology. It is inexpensive, versatile, and comfortable to wear.

News : Medical
Rise of ‘Microrockets’ and ‘Micromotors’

At the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, in New Orleans, scientists from the University of California, San Diego, described their advances in micromotor technology that, they say, could open the door to broad new medical uses.

News : Medical
More Sensitive Touch for Robot Hands

Researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), Cambridge, MA, have developed an inexpensive tactile sensor for robotic hands that is sensitive enough to enable a machine to handle objects with sensitivity and dexterity.

Designed by researchers in the Harvard Biorobotics...

News : Medical
Developing Edible Electronics for the Medical Device Industry

Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, are developing edible electronic devices that can be implanted in the body, and say that the device could be programmed and deployed in the gastrointestinal tract or the small intestine and once the battery packaging is in...

News : Medical
3D Printed Anatomical Reproductions Prep Surgeons

Experience is the greatest teacher, but being able to have actual experience with a patient’s individual anatomy prior to surgery has been out of reach of surgeons until now. Currently, there are various software systems that use 3D animation, interaction, and virtual participation to rehearse...

News : Imaging
Awake Imaging Device Without Movement Blur

A technology being developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, promises to provide clear images of the brains of children, the elderly, and people with Parkinson's and other diseases without the use of uncomfortable or intrusive restraints.

This new type...

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D Tissue Printing Technology

Researchers say that a new type of soft material they have created by using a unique 3D printer connects thousands of water droplets, 50 microns in diameter each, encapsulated within lipid (fat) films, which can perform some of the functions of the cells inside our bodies. These printed “droplet networks,” they...

News : Medical
April Mid-Month Industry News

Here is the latest batch of news from the medical products community. Please click the link for more.

News : Medical
Correct Catheter Placement in Children

A new study done at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Baltimore, MD, described online in JAMA Pediatrics, show that in children catheters inserted in a vessel in the arm or leg and not threaded into a large vein near the heart are nearly four times as likely to dislodge, cause vein inflammation, or...

News : Medical
Implant Material Mimics Squid Beak

Many medical implants use hard materials that connect to or pass through soft body tissue. This mechanical mismatch can lead to problems like skin breakdown at abdominal feeding tubes in stroke patients and where wires pass through the chest to power assistive heart pumps. So researchers at Case Western Reserve...

News : Medical
3D Heart Catheter Receives Award and Seeks Commercialization Partners

RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC, one of the world’s leading research institutes, has developed a prototype catheter that can generate live, streaming 3D ultrasound images from inside the heart. The device received a Cardiovascular Innovation Award at the 2013...

News : Medical
Artificial Spleen to Treat Sepsis

Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Boston, MA, were awarded a $9.25 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to further advance a blood-cleansing technology developed at the Institute with prior DARPA support, and...

News : Medical
Personal Health Monitoring System Using Smartphones

A wireless personal health monitoring system using smartphones to upload data via the Internet will revolutionize the US healthcare industry, say its creators at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. mHealth capitalizes on what Dr. Emil Jovanov, associate dean for graduate education and...

News : Medical
Inexpensive Device to Prevent Infant Brain Damage

When babies are deprived of oxygen before birth, brain damage and disorders such as cerebral palsy can occur. Extended cooling can help to prevent brain injuries, but, in developing nations where advanced medical care is scarce, this treatment is not always available. To address this need,...

News : Medical
Hearing Implant Simplified for Outpatient Surgery

Around 17 million people in Germany suffer from impaired hearing. A new device being developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA), Stuttgart, Germany, can, researchers say, improve patients’ hearing and can be implanted during outpatient surgery....

News : Medical
New MRI Method Allows for Quicker Disease Diagnosis

A new method of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could allow early identification of specific cancers, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and other maladies, say researchers at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, and University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center.

They explain...

News : Medical
Wearable Artificial Lung Under Development

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, with the support of a $3.4 million National Institutes of Health grant, are working to develop an artificial lung to serve as a bridge to transplant or recovery in patients with acute and chronic lung failure.

The project aims to develop a compact...

Briefs : Medical
Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Signals Measure Neuronal Activity in the Cortex

Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is an emerging optical neuroimaging technology that indirectly measures neuronal activity in the cortex via neurovascular coupling. It quantifies hemoglobin concentration ([Hb]) and thus measures the same...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Using CT Scanning to Test/Inspect Medical Devices in the Design or Production Phase

The rapid advance of medical technology has created a growing need for ever more precise technologies to measure and inspect medical components. One of the most accurate scanning technologies, and one whose use is growing in the medical equipment community, is CT...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Force Feedback Modulated Joint Control for Prosthetic Ankle

Human gait is an infinitely variable and complex feedback system to maximize efficiency and stability in movement. Typical prosthetic technology utilizes fixed springs to maximize energy return but do nothing to adapt to the variable environment experienced by users. The Magellan...

Features : Medical
Heart Imaging Simulator Advances Echocardiography Training

As cardiovascular disease has increased globally in recent decades, clinical demand for transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) has risen along with it. In TEE, a clinician inserts an ultrasound probe by mouth and guides it through the esophagus to capture images of the functioning heart....

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