Patient compliance is the single biggest reason for medical therapy failure. To improve compliance, medical device designers must constantly work to make their devices smaller, more discreet, and easier to use.

Low-power medical devices can achieve all of those goals. Better energy efficiency leads to smaller and longer-lasting batteries, ultimately making medical devices more portable and encouraging proper use by patients.

Join us for “Empowering Patients with Energy-Efficient Medical Designs,” a free Webcast sponsored by Freescale.

This Webcast will cover:

  • Freescale’s low-power design methodology.
  • The Kinetis L series of microcontrollers.
November 28th, 2012

Nonin Medical's 4100 Patient Module OEM wrist-worn pulse oximeter was among the first Bluetooth-enabled medical devices, and now the company hopes to again beat the competition by being the first to get a Bluetooth low energy–enabled medical device on the market.

Nonin Medical hopes to introduce a Bluetooth low energy-enabled pulse oximeter in early 2013. It will be launched outside the United States first and hit the domestic market as soon as it received FDA approval, says Mark VanderWerf, vice president of ehealth and OEM. 

Read more about why Nonin Medical is banking on Bluetooth low energy, as well as some of the...

November 14th, 2012

Driven by cost pressures and new media technologies, such as social media and electronic health records, medical and consumer devices are moving closer together. A panel at the AdvaMed 2012 conference held earlier this month discussed this trend and what it means for the industry.

A few points that stuck out include:

  • Patients are a new customer base for medical device companies. “The care [is] moving out of our core customer base, which has traditionally been hospitals, and into the hands of patients and consumers,” said Jessica Hameline, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Covidien.
  • mHealth is the future. Mobile devices, which are ubiquitous outside hospitals, are also gaining ground inside care facilities. Three-quarters of physicians now use smartphones and 70% carry iPads.
  • Take a problems-based approach to solving problems. ...
October 17th, 2012

Telecommuncations giant Qualcomm is working with a Southern California health system to bring digital health advances to patients.

A $3.75-million grant from the Qualcomm Life Foundation will help Scripps Health study how a mobile software platform for patient monitoring developed by AirStrip Technologies (San Antonio) affects factors such as clinical decision making and the length of hospital stays. The San Diego-based nonprofit health system is also looking at using embedded nanosensors to predict heart attacks and cancer.

“What we are envisioning is a whole new series of apps. A heart attack app, a cancer app, and, in fact, a lot more,” Eric Topol chief academic officer told attendees at last week's Qualcomm Life Media Day last in San Diego.

Read more about the technologies they're working with and other details about...

October 17th, 2012

Deciding what heat-shrink tubing to use can be a critical decision for medical electronics designers. An upcoming MED Webcast sponsored by Arrow Electronics and TE Connectivity seeks to help you choose the product for your application.

The free event takes place this coming Tuesday, October 16, 2012, starting at 2 p.m. EST. Titled, "How to Choose the Right Heat-Shrink Tubing for Your Application," it will cover everything from the history of heat-shrink tubing to new products and future trends. 

Three experts from TE Connectivit—global product manager Juan Contreras; Martin Kozitza, manager of product development engineering; and George Pieslak, senior principal for product development engineering...

October 10th, 2012

Last week Apple brought the world to a standstill (again) for a few hours when it announced the latest iteration of the iPhone. Some rumors were dispelled with the new phone, others were confirmed. Among the latter was the announcement that Apple is ditching the 30-pin, micro USB connector dock that has been standard in the iPhone for a new, slimmer, and sexier 8-pin dock that has been dubbed the Lightning connector.

Apple promises the Lightning connector will provide a better interface and superior performance for consumers but some have already shot back at the connector, calling it a shortsighted and consumer-unfriendly decision with no obvious benefits.
The connector is also...
September 17th, 2012

GE Healthcare and Philips Healthcare praised a recent FCC decision to allocate spectrum for wireless networks made of body-worn medical sensors, saying it will allow them to create technology that will reduce the spaghetti of wires connected to patients. But some experts worry that a lack of rules governing interoperability in the bands could hold back progress.

MBANs are made up of low-power body-worn sensors that wirelessly transmit data from patients to telemetry systems, which then send the information to back-end systems, such as electronic health records. Proponents say the networks could help cut healthcare costs and improve patient care by increasing the potential for patient monitoring, easing transport, and reducing the risk of infection. Applications could include wireless monitoring of blood pressure, temperature, and respiration rate.

But some experts...

September 11th, 2012

In the medical realm and other areas (e.g., automotive, networking), architects often ask themselves at the time a new product has to be designed if they can afford application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). In past years, a lot has been published about the pros and con of using ASICs. These reports always speak about power consumption, size, and capabilities, but in the end there is a prohibitive factor: the price.

In the past year, the price of masks has increased considerably, and it is expected to increase even more. Prices above $5 million for masks are not so uncommon anymore. Who can actually afford such costs!?

This problem can be more acute for some high-performance, demanding applications such as medical imaging. In such applications we need to have significant processing capabilities and good power consumption performances… Sure, a well-designed ASIC would work wonders here. For an OEM, a dream come true would be to convince a semiconductor...

August 2nd, 2012

What were you doing when you were in high school? Brittany Wenger is creating a better way to diagnose breast cancer.

The 17-year-old from Lakewood Ranch, FL, took home the grand prize in this year’s Google Science Fair for her “Global Neural Network Cloud Service for Breast Cancer.” Her project has shown a 99.1% success rate in identifying malignant tumors and could eventually achieve perfection, according to Wenger’s research.

Her winning project uses a custom artificial neural network that weights malignancy heavily negative to analyze the results of minimally invasive fine needle aspirates. Because the program she created learns by example...

July 27th, 2012

July 11th, 2012