Medical Blog

Join the conversation! Medical Design Briefs' Editor Sherrie Trigg provides her take on today’s innovative technology developments and the topics most important to you.

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: Are Medical Robotics About to Change the Face of Healthcare?

The integration of robotics into medical devices has seen explosive growth in recent years with new applications in areas such as prosthetics and rehabilitation, surgical, and even drug-delivery devices. A new report predicts that the medical robotics market will...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: The MDDT Program: Streamlining Medical Device Approval

FDA has qualified the first tool under its new Medical Device Development Tool (MDDT) program. According to AAMI, after some 20 years of use, manufacturers of devices designed to address heart failure will no longer have to justify using the Kansas City Cardio­myopathy...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: Making Sure Medical Devices Play Nice Together

In this world of increasingly smart technology, the one place that interconnectivity is critical is in healthcare. Patients and their care givers should be confident that the devices that are “talking” to one another are doing so safely and without error.

From the Editor : Manufacturing & Prototyping
From the Editor: The Future of Medical Manufacturing

The Future of Medical Manufacturing implementing automation. It is embracing 3D printing, Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence (AI), and even augmented reality — the layering of the physical and digital worlds.

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: A Cure for the U.S. Medical Innovation Ecosystem

As 2016 came to a close, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the 21st Century Cures Act by a vote of 392–26, and the Senate passed it by a vote of 94–5. The Act, which was strongly supported by the device industry, is the result of a two-year effort to...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: September 2015

The demand for electronics is growing exponentially. Advances in sensors, integrated circuits, and wireless communications have allowed the design of low-cost, miniature, lightweight, and intelligent devices that can sense, process, and communicate health information through wireless personal or body networks.

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: July 2015

A few months ago, I lost my cousin to liver cancer. She was several years older than me—a creative, warm, wise, and welcoming woman who had recently become a grandmother for the second time. In fact, her granddaughter was born the very day she began chemotherapy. I visited her in the hospital just days before she...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: May 2015

You’ve heard the latest Apple Watch claims and seen the advance sales numbers. No stranger to grand pronouncements about their products, this very “personal” one, the company says, can run its own apps, connect with iPhones, and be both a fashion and status statement.

From the Editor : Electronics & Computers
From the Editor: April 2015

In December, we asked Medical Design Briefs readers to select the one product from our 12 Products of the Month that you thought was the most significant new introduction to the design engineering community in 2014. Thank you to all of our readers who voted and chose two winners for the 2014 Medical Design Briefs’...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: March 2015

Recently, FDA commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, MD, announced that she was stepping down at the end of March. One of the longest-serving FDA commissioners, Hamburg started in the position in May of 2009. Her job has been demanding and intense, dealing with everything from the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, to...

From the Editor : Government
From the Editor: February 2015

In April 2013, President Obama announced a highly ambitious multi-year BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative, focused on expanding and revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. The BRAIN Initiative has five participating federal agencies, including the FDA, the...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: January 2015

High prices are not the only things that can cause a shock at the mall. Most stores now have electronic article surveillance (EAS) gates, designed to deter shoplifting. Of course, you may not have noticed them, as they are often covered with signs indicating sales. But for someone with an implanted electronic...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: December 2014

As of this writing, the midterm election was just held and, as you know, Republicans took control of the Senate while keeping control of the House of Representatives. The United States Supreme Court announced on November 7 that it will hear yet another challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—King v. Burwell,...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: November 2014

At the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) conference held in Chicago in October, several FDA officials participated in panel discussions and Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, FDA Commissioner, was a plenary luncheon speaker for an in-depth discussion of how FDA policies are affecting the industry. FDA...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: October 2014

One of the largest design contests dollar-wise to improve healthcare in the US is focused on creating a medical diagnostic device inspired by Star Trek®. The Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE is a $10 million multi-year global competition to stimulate innovation and integration of precision diagnostic...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: September 2014

In the late 1960s, Timothy Leary advised people to “Turn on, tune in, drop out” by using psychedelic drugs. Fifty years later, the message might be “Turn on, sync in, stay connected 24/7”.

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: August 2014

Remember when you were a child and broke your arm and had to wear a heavy, hot plaster cast in the Summer? Your arm felt heavy and itchy, your muscles atrophied, you had to wear a plastic bag over your cast to shower, and, after a couple of weeks, the cotton padding inside stunk. The only good thing about it, besides...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: July 2014

There’s an old saying “May you live in interesting times.” While it is meant to sound like a blessing, some say that is actually an ancient curse. Ancient or not, the saying was included by the late Robert F. Kennedy in a 1966 speech to students in Cape Town, South Africa. I was reminded of his speech in June on...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: June 2014

Speaking at a plenary panel session on Innovations Shaping the Future of Patient Care at Medical World Americas in Houston in April, Dr. Stephen N. Oesterle, Senior Vice President for Medicine and Technology at Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN, predicted that implantable and wearable sensor technology will be the best way...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: March 2014

It was set to be the “next big thing”. Designed to aid patients suffering from resistive hypertension who failed to respond to conventional medical therapy, the stakes were huge for catheter-based renal denervation to treat one of the most prevalent chronic conditions worldwide— persistently high blood pressure...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: February 2014

While most of the country is in the grip of the polar vortex, I’m thinking warm thoughts about places with palm trees—places like Anaheim, California, where I’ll be this month for MD&M West. February kicks off the first round of medical technology trade shows.

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: January 2014

About a month ago, I had a chance to watch the award-winning documentary “The Incredible Bionic Man,” built entirely of prosthetic parts and implantable synthetic organs by leading scientists and roboticists, and hosted by the Smithsonian Channel. I was transported a future that was barely envisioned by the...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: December 2013

The end of the year is practically upon us so let’s take a quick look back at some of the highlights of 2013.

On January 1, 2013, the 2.3% Medical Device Excise Tax, which manufacturers and importers pay on sales of certain medical devices, went into effect to help fund the Patient Protection and...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: November 2013

November is American Diabetes Month and the American Diabetes Association offers some sobering statistics. Nearly 26 million people in the US have diabetes, and as many as one in three adults will have diabetes by 2050.

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: October 2013

The school year has barely begun and what are students up to? Pretty amazing things, if they’re anything like the students who won grants from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA). Grants are also awarded to faculty who ignite a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship among science...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: September 2013

The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance, the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) and the Medical Device Manufacturers Association announced in July that medical device manufacturers have now paid $1 billion to the Internal Revenue Service for the medical device excise tax. Their statement said,...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: August 2013

In mid-June, Charles “Chip” Starnes, a co-owner of Specialty Medical Supplies (SMS), Coral Gables, FL, a manufacturer of disposable medical products, visited the company’s factory in Beijing, China. He intended to personally lay off and distribute severance packages to about 30 employees of its plastic...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: July 2013

Close to twenty years ago, I remember writing about the big news at that time—that Dr. Charles Vacanti of the University of Massachusetts, with the assistance of other researchers including Dr. Linda Griffith-Cima from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), had created a scaffold, seeded it with cells, and grew...

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: June 2013

The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) launched its “Coalition to Walk and Run Again,” an effort to aid uninsured and underinsured victims of the April 15th Boston Marathon terror attack. The bombing killed 3 people and left more than 200 injured, several of whom lost portions of their legs as a...

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.

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