New Digital Radiography (DR) equipment captures DR images using conventional x-ray equipment and procedures. Wireless cassette-size DR detectors can capture digital images and transmit them to a DR system’s capture console. Untethered detectors also enable cordless positioning, which results in greater patient comfort and faster exams. Typical detectors are 14 in. by 17 in. and only .05 in...
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...
Prostate cancer is typically diagnosed through PSA determination followed by ultrasound-guided biopsies, but that method has some disadvantages, including the fact that it often requires multiple biopsies. As a contributor to our sister site EE Times writes, "Development of a method designed to localize the tumor, or a suspect zone, within the prostatic tissue during the biopsy would...
Scanadu, a Silicon Valley health startup, plans on bringing the mythical tricorder (a diagnostic device from Star Trek) to reality. The company's handheld sensor would enable parents to monitor their children's vital signs and even diagnose diseases from the home. The company, which is now in pursuit of funding, hopes the product will be the recipient of the coveted $10-million X-Prize. Below is...
EMDT editor Norbert Sparrow says the medical electronics industry has a lot to look forward to, based on a report from InMedica. (The report, "12 Predictions for 2012 in the Medical Electronics Industry" is available for download after free registration.) Among the key observations: Point-of-care ultrasound should see 44% growth from 2011 to 2015. In fact, InMedica says almost all...
Medical research can only advance as quickly as the technology that supports it. Medical imaging in particular plays a huge role in the entire clinical process—from diagnostics and treatment to surgery and research. In addition to the hurdles medical professionals encounter, “seeing” (in the medical sense) is one of the biggest challenges. Diseases are difficult to spot because...
Texas Instruments announced support of its free, easy-to-use medical imaging software toolkit (STK), a collection of imaging algorithms targeted for TI’s industry leading TMS320C66x digital signal processors (DSP) generation. Complementing TI’s full portfolio of analog and embedded processing solutions for real-time medical imaging, the upgraded toolkit offers image processing kernels...
Qualstar announced the first model of a series of products based on its patent-pending touchless pointing technology. Called Topo Jojo, it represents a new approach to preventing contamination in clinical environments. Unlike traditional human interface devices, Topo Jojo uses infrared sensor technology to detect a finger’s motion in the air to control a PC display cursor.  Touchless...
Wind River is the next major operating system (OS) vendor to understand the value of having an enriched medical offering. The company recently introduced a platform for medical devices, which is part of a comprehensive software portfolio designed for medical device development, including those devices requiring premarket notification, FDA 510(k), or the more stringent Premarket Approval. The...
Designed to improve productivity and efficiency in X-ray imaging, Toshiba America Medical Systems has introduced the Kalare wireless X-ray system. In addition to the original Kalare technology, the system includes a wireless 14- by 17-in. panel with a rotating bucky tray designed for optimal detector movement. The Kalare Wireless X-ray system enhances productivity by eliminating the restrictions...
A hot topic here at NIWeek has been optical coherence tomography (OCT), a noninvasive imaging technique that could potentially save a lot of lives through early detection of diseases in fields including cardiology, oncology, and dermatology. The technology provides higher-resolution images than MRI and PET and does not require ionizing radiation. OCT technology is accelerating quickly. In...
Researchers might have solved the mystery of why some military personnel exposed to blasts show symptoms of brain injury even though their MRI and CT scans appear normal. With diffusion tensor imaging, a special MRI technique, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis working with militry researchers based in Germany found in some troops evidence of brain injuries that didn't show up in...
Machine vision, or the ability for a computer to read an image, is vital in many industries and application spaces, with medical devices being at or near the top of that list. Imaging devices play a key role the medical/health care space, and that will only increase moving forward. To help facilitate such a movement, a new industry group has been formed, the Embedded Vision Alliance. Made up of...
Texas Instruments has introduced a quad-channel, 16-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) for medical imaging applications, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). According to the company, it’s the first of its kind to meet these specs. The ADS5263 delivers a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 84.6 dBFS with 10-MHz input and a sampling frequency of up to 100 MSPS. The quad-channel...
Some decisions are easy (yes, I WILL have dessert). Others are not. Take the question of whether women in their 40s should get a mammogram. Some say yes, others say not necessarily. Add to the mix a certain daytime talk show host who suggested that radiation from mammograms could be contributing to increased rates of thyroid cancer, and it’s not surprising that many women are confused....
 Want to get a taste of the latest and greatest in medical device design? Go to mddionline.com, where you can check out the results of the 2011 Medical Design Excellence Awards, including pictures and descriptions of all 37 winning devices. You can also read in-depth feature coverage by Heather Thompson on how the little things make a big difference in device design and Brian...
The New York Times recently stepped into the world of medical imaging (again) to show what can go wrong when workers aren't trained properly. Although news of it only surfaced this month, a doctor at a NY hospital discovered four years ago that premature babies were being given full-body x-rays. In addition, radiation levels on CT scanners were set too high for infants and the babies weren't...
In the next five years, science fiction will become science, pure and simple, as 3-D interfaces like those in the movies let users interact with health-related information. Scientists are beginning to work on new ways to visualise 3-D data. The technology will allow engineers to step inside designs of everything from buildings to software programs, running simulations of how diseases spread...
Three-dimensional technology continues its penetration in the medical device technology market. Hologic has just earned FDA approval of its Selenia Dimensions System, the first 3-D mammography imaging system ever approved by the agency.   "Physicians can now access this unique and innovative 3-D technology that could significantly enhance existing diagnosis and treatment approaches,...
Last week, the DesignMED show took place in Anaheim, Calif. It was a conference and exhibition that was aimed at designers of medical electronics systems. Freescale was one of the participants, and one of their folks, Steven Dean, wrote a blog about the experience. Check back again as more blogs detailing DesignMED topics will be posted. Note that Freescale offers a wealth of design-related...
The Superior Court of Massachusetts has ruled in favor of Volcano Corp. in its litigation with LightLab Imaging. LightLab alleged that Volcano and its subsidiary Axsun Technologies Inc. used LightLab's trade secret information in the development of the Volcano OCT (optical coherence tomography) system and Axsun's OCT laser.   "After two-plus years of litigation, we are gratified by...
Yesterday I imagined a world in which celebrities endorse medical devices using Tom Brady's torn ACL as an example. But it's not just professional athletes that have these injuries. In fact, children and teens who participate in activities such as football, basketball, soccer, and gymnastics can suffer from torn ACLs as well. This type of injury carries a more severe sting for...
Obviously medical applications aren’t the only target for an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with such a high level of performance, but the LTC2379-18 should definitely find a nice home there. Developed by Linear Technology Corp. (LTC), the device is a serial 18-bit, 1.6-Msample/s SAR ADC that achieves 101 dB SNR and -118 dB THD while supporting a fully differential ±5V input range...
I had a conversation this morning with Matt Langman, marketing director of Intel's embedded computing division. He called in from CES to discuss Intel's new second-generation Core processors. The processors, which are based on new architecture, have been in the works for a few years. They are used in a variety of market segments, but seven of the processors are specifically designed for...
DesignMED is only five weeks away. Co-located with MD&M West, DesignMED is a technical conference aimed at designers of medical electronics systems. So if you’re designing the hardware or software or all aspects of a medical system, this is the place for you. It’s being held in Anaheim, Calif., from February 8-10. If you can’t make it to DesignMED, fear not. We’ll be...