A recent  piece from Harvard Business Review suggests that telemedicine could truly revolutionize healthcare—and could drive healthcare costs down by as much as 90%.

Dr. Nayak
Dr. K. S. Nayak

Telemedicine has long been hyped, but has yet to live up to its potential in the United States. Consider, however, its use in India. Thanks to the explosion of mobile networks and growing use of smartphones there, telemedicine is already having a big impact in that country. In India, remote diagnostic devices are used to monitor health metrics such as...

April 26th, 2012

Last month, a government group tasked with identifying threats to information security and privacy sent to the U.S. Office of Managment and Budget (OMB) a list of recommendations to ensure the safety of Internet-connected medical devices.

The Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board (ISPAB), a subgroup of the National Institutute for Standards and Technology, discussed the matter of device security at its February board meeting. Experts spoke about cybersecurity threats to the millions of connected medical devices on the market, and the group noted a lack of accountability and oversight regarding the problem.

On March 30, the ISPAB sent to the OMB a letter with five...

April 25th, 2012

A recent Forbes article on the threat of medical device hacking is the latest in a steady drumbeat of calls for more attention to be paid to medical device security.

Contributor Marc Weber Tobias, a security expert and investigative attorney, paints a frightening picture for readers:

Just think of the possibilities: a spouse or business partner decides it is time for a change. She (or he) obtains the needed software and wireless link and triggers a fatal cardiac event. If you had an implanted insulin pump or defibrillator which could be attacked with a small transmitter and computer, would you feel secure knowing that someone “near to you” could access your implanted device and end your life?

He writes that three problems are contributing to the...

April 24th, 2012

Could High-Profile Hacking Incidents Lead to Federal Regulation?

As the issue of medical device security continues to gain prominence, officials are now zeroing in on this emerging threat to patient safety and peace of mind. And with the Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board now joining the growing chorus of voices expressing concern and supporting action regarding medical device security, it's becoming increasingly clear that connectivity may soon require cutting through more red tape.
Medtech Pulse Blog

Firewall Promises to Make Pacemakers Hack-...

April 20th, 2012

There are many applications, particularly in the medical space, where ferroelectric RAM, or FRAM, is the memory technology of choice. Unlike EEPROM of flash memory, FRAM doesn’t need a high internal voltage for writing operations, thereby increasing both the writing speed and the endurance of the memory.

Also key to medical applications is the fact that the FRAM is resistant to sterilization by gamma rays. This suits the technology for RFID tags in secure environments, enabling traceability of products from the production line to end-of-life.

Fujitsu is one of the leaders in FRAM technology. It offers products in UHF and HF ranges. Capacities in the UHF (860 to 960 MHz) line range from 4 to 72 kbytes. The HF line (13.56 MHz) offers 256 bytes to 9 kbytes. For RFID applications, the company combines the FRAM with an ARM Cortex M3-based microcontroller, all operating at 1.8 V.


April 19th, 2012

“What is it about robots, that makes them so robotic?” asks a recent video promo for the film “Prometheus,” which is directed by Alien and Blade Runner director Ridley Scott. The semi-robotic voice of “David” in the clip continues: “At Weyland industries, it has long been our goal to create artificial intelligence almost indistinguishable from mankind itself.” Later, When asked what the android David thinks about, he replies by saying “almost anything.”

More than a half century ago, mathematician Alan Turing reflected on the potential of artificial intelligence, eventually reaching the conclusion that computers would one day have intelligence rivalling that of our own.

A paper he wrote titled Computing Machinery begins with Turing asking whether machines...

April 18th, 2012

It was only a matter of time before iPads and smartphones made a real dent in medicine. In 2010, Stanford announced that it would be providing the iPads to its incoming class of med students. Last year, a study by the Computing Technology Industry Association announced that more than half of physicians use a smartphone for work. The number of medical and health apps is growing steadily, prompting Apple to create categories for them in the iTunes App Store.

The use of mobile devices by physicians is expected to continue to surge, as its potential becomes apparent and electronic medical records become more commonplace. While many physicians have used laptops in the clinic for activities such as taking notes and writing prescriptions, the iPad and other mobile devices are being used with increasing frequency for such activities.

Daniel Kivatinos and Michael Nusimow saw the importance of mobility in medicine years ago. Both men are graduates of Y Combinator, which is a...

April 17th, 2012

MD+DI Announces MDEA Finalists

Sponsored by MD+DI and organized by UBM Canon, the Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) competition is the premier awards program for the medical technology community, recognizing the achievements of medical product manufacturers and the many people behind the scenes—engineers, scientists, designers, and clinicians—who are responsible for the groundbreaking innovations that are changing the face of healthcare.

April 6th, 2012

Following Google's purchase of smartphone and tablet maker Motorola Mobility this past August, there was worry that the company would make its popular Android operating system closed-source. Those fears were put to rest today in a letter from Google CEO Larry Page.

"Android was built as an open ecosystem, and we have no plans to change that," he wrote in the 2012 CEO update

Its open nature has contributed to Android's success, Page wrote, continuing that the company looks forward to continuing to work with the many hardware makers that use the Android platform.


April 5th, 2012

Siemens had a variety of its hearing instruments on display at a Bluetooth press briefing held on April 4 in San Francisco. Among those products was the miniTek wireless remote streamer for hearing instruments, which won the Best of CES and Fan Favorite Awards in the Bluetooth Special Interest Group seventh Annual Best of CES Awards. Siemens introduced the miniTek last year along with the Aquaris, the only waterproof hearing aid on the market. That device debuted in June of 2011.

The miniTek device uses Bluetooth technology to wirelessly stream audio from multiple devices directly into hearing aids.

The company is set to introduce the Eclipse, a deep-fitting hearing instrument is hidden in the ear canal. The Eclipse incorporates...

April 5th, 2012