Tungsten, molybdenum, neodymium. These are just some of the rare earths that are critical in the production of electronic medical devices. The 17 elements referred to as rare earth are used in a variety of electronic applications such liquid crystal displays (LCD), fiber optic cables, fuel cells, and magnets. “Medical diagnostic technology using magnets makes use of rare earths to downsize [electronic footprint], plus used to polish smooth glass surfaces,” says R. Colin Johnson, of NextgenLog. But access to them is becoming a serious problem.
 
The “rare” in rare earths is something of a misnomer—they are abundant almost everywhere on the planet, but are difficult to mine, and improper mining introduces radioactivity into ecosystems. China made a significant investment during the...
March 15th, 2012
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There are advancements in medical devices on the horizon that threaten to rival things only seen in science fiction movies—all brought to you by a piece of video gaming hardware that retails for $149.99.

The Kinect for the Microsoft XBox 360 could also be pointing the way in the next step in medical device technology. Right now researchers all over the world are adapting the comparatively inexpensive device—effectively turning a piece of hardware designed for battling aliens into a medical device.

Read more over at MDDIOnline.

-Chris Wiltz

March 15th, 2012
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apps growth
Data from ABI Research

“Moore’s Law is not actually a law,” said Roger McNamee, managing director of Elevation Partners at ITLG Innovation Summit in Santa Clara yesterday. McNamee, who was one of the early investors in Facebook, explained that Moore's law was a challenge for engineers. “Basically what Gordon [Moore] said was: unless you guys are a lot stupider than your older brothers and your parents, you can double electronics’ performance every 18 months. And engineers, being engineers, did that.”

McNamee explained that the power of rapid technological...

March 14th, 2012
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Futura Mobility recently launched its Continuum Power System, which employs Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery technology. The technology is suited for use in mobile carts, which are increasingly being relied on as the primary vehicle for capturing patient information at the point of care.

It features an advanced electronics system that safely recharges the batteries to full capacity in just two hours, while offering partial charge capabilities not present in older battery technologies. The Lithium Iron cells offer a life span up to five years and will reduce the weight of the mobile cart by nearly 30 lbs., improving maneuverability for nurses and clinicians.

Richard Nass

March 14th, 2012
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iPad 3 Features Better Bluetooth

Along with the announcement of Apple's third-generation iPad on March 7, the tablet is getting a wireless upgrade with Bluetooth 4.0 Smart Ready connectivity. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced the availability of Smart Ready technology for the new version of the Apple tablet, bringing new possibilities for remote-monitoring medical applications.
eWeek

Venture Capitalists Forgo Investments in Expensive Medical Technology for Cost-Cutting Products

But after the Great Recession hit and the 2010 health law passed, the financiers behind the medical arms race started to rethink their investment calculus.

"If...

March 9th, 2012
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Boston Scientific has announced plans to acquire Cameron Health. Boston Scientific will initially shell out $150 in cash for the deal, with up to $1.2 billion more to come if Cameron's defibrillator product meets regulatory and sales expectations, Reuters reports.

The S-ICD can be placed beneath the skin as opposed to inside the heart and uses a signal similar to an ECG to monitor the heart for signs of cardiac arrest.

The device has already received a CE mark in Europe, where it has been sold since 2009. Boston...

March 9th, 2012
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Medical device inventor, investor, and electronics engineer Mir Imran once told me “problems don’t care about technology.” As it turns out, many innovators and entrepreneurs tend to be so enamored by technology that they neglect to spend sufficient time understanding the market needs that their products are meant to address.

This tendency is rather widespread in the domain of mobile health (or insert "digital health," "connected health" or any other nomenclature you prefer), which, if you listen to some accounts, is a field...

March 5th, 2012
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A couple of weeks back, our sister site EE Times recieved a note from a young engineering grad with aspirations of becoming a medical electronics designer.

The student, Xiuxin Yang, holds a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering and a master's degree in electrical engineering and has experience in FPGA design, small embedded system design, and  embedded C programming, among other skills. But so far, she has had a difficult time breaking into the medical device industry. Her question: "With such a background, how can I enter medical electronics field?"

That got me thinking about how MED ...

February 29th, 2012
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Fitting into the current trend of trying to make things that are bad for you seem good for you (think chocolate and red wine) is a new story from McMaster University in Canada.

Video games cross eye. Dassault SystemesPsychologist Daphne Maurer says that the effects of congenital cataracts can improve after about 40 hours of playing action video games, at least for young adults with the disease. Maurer says that "After playing an action video game for just 40 hours over four weeks, the patients were better at seeing small print, the direction of moving dots, and the identity of faces."

The study looked at men and women between 19 an 31 years old. All of...

February 29th, 2012
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Fitbit ultra in boxA growing number of people and publications are talking about the Quantified Self movement, whose motto is "self knowledge through numbers." It's hard not to notice the influx of devices designed for self tracking that have emerged in recent years. There's the Zeo sleep coach, the Striiv personal trainer, Nike's Fuelband, the JawboneUP, and the BodyMedia Fit. The Fitbit personal trainer, however, has been the device getting the most attention.  

The most recent iteration of the device, the Fitbit Ultra, a wireless personal trainer that is basically a powerful pedometer with some added capabilities, has been getting a lot of attention lately. The device uses a three-dimensional accelerometer to measure a user’s activity level. The device can clip onto a belt, be put in a...

February 18th, 2012
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