Smartphones present a huge opportunity for medical electronics designers, but they also pose challenges for the medical electronics industry. That will be the subject of an AdvaMed webinar sponsored by set to take place later this month.

Smartphones, Medical Electronics
By ALT1040 from Blogosfera (Cropped by uploader from This is madness! (pt. 2)) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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April 5th, 2012
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Approximately 50 million people suffer from epilepsy, according to data from the World Health Organization. Because seizures can occur at any moment, the condition can be a cause of constant concern for those with the condition. Patients in the midst of a seizure may be in need medical attention.

To help allay that concern, SmartMonitor (San Jose, CA) has developed the SmartWatch—a wristband device that can detect erratic movements associated with grand mal seizures and send alerts within seconds to family members’ and caregivers’ smartphones. The device, which can be worn continuously, tracks the time, intensity, length, and location of seizures and uses Bluetooth to relay that information to a smartphone app. Inadvertently triggered alerts can be cancelled. 

The device was recently on display at a Bluetooth 4.0 event demonstrating...

April 5th, 2012
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A new project at Massachusetts Institute of Technology aims to revolutionize the process of robot production by enabling the average person to design and manufacture robots in only a few hours. The project would give people access to a desktop technology and a library of blueprints for designs that could be customized to solve specific problems. A medtechinsider blog post covered the project. Read more and watch a video of a prototype here.

 

— Camilla Andersson

April 5th, 2012
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Project Glass photosGoogle's Project Glass could be a really big deal if this YouTube video is any indication. Just think: hands-free mobile Google-based functionality layered over the world that you see. While the glasses are not on the market yet, they would enable the user to enter an augmented reality with a seemingly infinite variety of data information embedded into it. 

This development could take the quantified self movement to "a whole new level, says James Beckerman, MD, FACC. "This invites the obvious questions—does quantity mean quality? Does mindfulness become mindnumbing after a while?"  Beckerman is a cardiologist who writes for WebMD and works at the Providence St. Vincent Heart Clinic in Portland. 

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April 4th, 2012
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April 4th, 2012
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Medical electronics were prevalent among the finalists in this year's Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA), an annual competition put on by MD+DI to highlight the achievements of medical product manufacturers.

Among the electronic products that stood out were the DermScope, an iPhone app that allows users to capture and share dermatoscopic images; a host of imaging devices, from the BodyTom portable CT scanner to the NOMAD Pro handheld x-ray system; and the King Vision digital video laryngoscope. There...

April 3rd, 2012
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I saw a lot of interesting technologies last week at the Design West conference, in San Jose. One of the coolest products I spotted on the show floor was a touchless touch screen, from Qualstar.

It's exactly like it sounds—a "touch-screen" display that you don't actually have to make physical contact with to control. The device works by using two infrared cameras in the corners of the screen to create an invisible light curtain. When the user's finger penetrates the curtain, the cameras triangulate its position.

The benefit for medical applications is obvious: Eliminating contact with the screen also eliminates a point of contamination in the clinical or lab environment. The Touchless...

April 3rd, 2012
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Body Area Networks Hit the Big Time

These tiny electronic devices, which can be implanted or worn externally, can remotely monitor the heart, glucose, pulse and other vital data via a PC, and, more recently, through a wireless network. For mobile applications, the wireless chips themselves fall into a loosely defined category called body area networks (BANs). BAN has been talked about for years, but the technology is moving into the limelight.
Chip Design

Results of AdvaMed Medical Device Tax Study Challenged

A Bloomberg Government analysis finds the study is not credible. Its assumptions are flawed, in part because it exaggerates the degree to which spending on health is affected by price...

March 26th, 2012
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Scotland-based Edinburgh Bioquarter has announced the launch of the i2Eye Diagnostics company to deliver a new visual field analyzer designed to make testing on difficult patients (such as children) much easier. SVOP testing

Existing visual field testing involves having patients respond to a visual stimulus by pressing a button. The disadvantage here is that these machines require a fair amount of patient comprehension and can be difficult to use on patients who have trouble concentrating or sitting still for extended periods, not to mention those who may be...
March 19th, 2012
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iPad 3 Hits Stores

The third iteration of the iPad went on sale Friday morning in the US, greeted by the usual throngs of early adopters...at the company’s flagship 5th Ave. store — ground zero in New York — hundreds lined up for the new iPad, which reviewers have said introduces some powerful new processor and graphics features but lacks the “wow” factor of the two previous versions.
Wired

Mobile Health Startup Completes Funding Round

Palo Alto, California-based Jiff announced this week that it had raised $7.5 million in its first round of funding...The startup also announced that it had appointed former president and CEO of Robert Bosch Healthcare, Derek Newell, as...

March 16th, 2012
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