As executive director of the Continua Health Alliance, Chuck Parker is tasked with helping the nonprofit industry organization achieve its goal of end-to-end plug-and-play connectivity for personal health devices. MED caught up with him to get his thoughts on everything from what progress Continua is making in accomplishing that mission to what wireless technologies are coming to the fore in...
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...
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...
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...
It is a classic image: a critically ill patient in a hospital bed connected to various medical devices by wires and IV tubing for monitoring and treatment. These devices are attached to the wall beside the bed and wired into the hospital infrastructure. While this is certainly still a real and necessary role for medical devices, the needs have expanded to include many other locations, roles in...
Effort to Repeal Device Tax Leaps Forward The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday became the first congressional panel to sign off on Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen’s top legislative priority, a bill to do away with an Affordable Care Act tax on sales of complicated medical devices set to take affect next year. Minn Post Former NBA Star Backs Device Industry [Bill] Walton,...
Liquidmetal generated a lot of buzz when word leaked that it might be featured in a new version of the iPhone, but the material has applications beyond consumer electronics. Stronger than titanium and lighter than steel, it's already being used in two medical electronics devices that have made it to market. Liquidmetal, an amorphous liquid metal alloy first discovered at the California Institute...
Earlier this month, The Health Care Blog featured a piece titled “Will Regina Holliday Become Health Care’s Rosa Parks?” Like the famed civil rights activist, Holliday is also an advocate for freedom and rights. The details, however, differ considerably as Holliday is a patient-rights arts advocate behind “The Walking Gallery,” a series of paintings on suit jackets...
Facebook as a Model for Medicine Think about it for a second: a single tech company, launched in 2004, is worth more than most makers of medicine. More than that, this single company has done as much to create very rich people as, basically, the entire medical device and drug industry. Forbes Medical Devices and Homeland Security The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning...
Happtique Lets Doctors Prescribe Apps Happtique, a mobile health app store aimed at healthcare professionals, will launch a trial of mRx, which it touts as the first program to enable physicians to prescribe mHealth apps to patients. Happtique officials say more physician-to-patient services will improve compliance and health outcomes, and that Happtique's patent-pending technology will...
Even if you got into the business of medical electronics design because you love the work, you have to wonder if that electrical engineering degree you got is paying off financially. Statistics recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics may provide an indication. Of the top 10 highest-paying engineering jobs in the industry, electronics engineers and electrical engineers fell right...
Why There Hasn't Been a Homerun mHealth App The mobile health movement has generated huge buzz over the last several years with its promise of bringing better, more personalized care at a cheaper cost to a wider number of engaged consumers. So it’s only natural to wonder if and when mHealth will give birth to its own Instagram. It hasn’t happened yet but it’s “a...
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. 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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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. By ALT1040 from Blogosfera (Cropped by uploader from This is madness! (pt. 2)) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons Designers can tap into a huge...
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...
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...
The evolution of connected healthcare is starting to accelerate. Even though medical devices and services can take years to go through FDA approval, consumers and individual doctors are moving to adopt new practices based on connected health devices and services. In 2011, we surveyed consumers and industry leaders around the world and found very high levels of readiness to adopt new practices...
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...