Patient compliance is the single biggest reason for medical therapy failure. To improve compliance, medical device designers must constantly work to make their devices smaller, more discreet, and easier to use. Low-power medical devices can achieve all of those goals. Better energy efficiency leads to smaller and longer-lasting batteries, ultimately making medical devices more portable and...
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...
Last week Apple brought the world to a standstill (again) for a few hours when it announced the latest iteration of the iPhone. Some rumors were dispelled with the new phone, others were confirmed. Among the latter was the announcement that Apple is ditching the 30-pin, micro USB connector dock that has been standard in the iPhone for a new, slimmer, and sexier 8-pin dock that has been dubbed the...
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...
What were you doing when you were in high school? Brittany Wenger is creating a better way to diagnose breast cancer. The 17-year-old from Lakewood Ranch, FL, took home the grand prize in this year’s Google Science Fair for her “Global Neural Network Cloud Service for Breast Cancer.” Her project has shown a 99.1% success rate in identifying malignant tumors and could eventually...
Physical security is often overlooked by organizations as they seek to protect their electronic information. There is an old adage that you are only as strong as your weakest link. This applies to the convergence of IT security and physical security. Regardless of how secure your IT data may be to hackers, it is no match for someone who gains access to your servers through a laptop stolen from an...
Image copyright Neil Harbisson  In 2004, in response to his achromatopsia, a rare condition that only allows him to see in black and white, artist Neil Harbisson developed the eyeborg, a device mounted on his body that allows him to effectively “see” color by translating color into sound. The eyeborg features a head-mounted antenna that picks up colors and translates...
With the introduction of Bluetooth low energy technology, there has been considerable interest in its possibilities in both the media and the market. Bluetooth low energy technology also has important limitations as well as benefits. It is quite different from Classic Bluetooth technology—so different that one carefully needs to consider which technology best fits the application needs...
Mechatronic medical devices are an important historical innovation. Hardware, combined with information-driven software processes, offers increasingly sophisticated functionality, but it also creates important problems with quality. Integration of the engineering work of various hardware, software, and human factors disciplines is a major challenge. Validation and verification testing are...
Editor’s note: This is a two-part article. Part 2 will focus on systemic problems. For many years, the medical device industry has operated without a consistent and internationally recognised regulatory process. In the U.S., companies have needed compliance to FDA guidelines, which some have lambasted for unnecessary delay while others complain about its lack of rigor. Others heartily...
Murata aims to be a player in the medical space. And they’ve got a series of products to prove it. The company is paying particular attention to small and easy-to-use health-care equipment for the prevention of illness. Some of the product categories the company participates in includes wireless communication modules such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart module, and NFC (Near Field Communication...
Deciding on the right touch technology can be challenging for even the seasoned technology guru. With over 1200 touch-related patents in existence, it is easy to become confused about which touch technology to choose to integrate into a new product. Whether it is the credit card terminal at the grocery store, the ticket kiosk at the local movie theater or the mobile phone in your pocket, the use...
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...
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...
Hipotronics and Haefely EMC, two companies known for their manufacture of high-voltage test and measurement equipment, announce the launch of a compact immunity test system, the AXOS 5, which will be sold under the Haefely EMC brand name. The AXOS 5 compact immunity test system integrates many features into one box. This includes 5-kV Electrical Fast Transient (EFT) and surge combination wave,...
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...
Google'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...
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...
Digi International and Wind River have collaborated to deliver a new family of cloud-connected wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions. The M2M Solution Builder kits will include a combination of hardware, software, cloud connectivity and access to tailored M2M development services. This complete end-to-end solution, tailored for performance- and connectivity-driven applications, simplifies...
As baby boomers and Gen Xers reach the age where they more regularly encounter health issues, they’re seeking ways to effectively detect health issues early and treat those conditions with less invasive therapies and procedures that let them recover faster and live longer. To this end, medical equipment companies are turning to advanced electronics to create fantastically innovative and...
Kontron announced the availability of its machine-to-machine (M2M) deployable system, the Kontron KM2M806XT. The ready-to-deploy hardware platform matches the requirements of M2M applications that must operate in extended temperatures and industrial environments. It comes with application-ready middleware and supports M2M digital device connectivity right out of the box. Suited for factory and...
WinSystems announced their PXM-C388-S, a PC/104-compatible single board computer (SBC) powered by an Intel 1.66-GHz Atom processor. This new SBC adds the SUMIT (Stackable Unified Modular Interconnect Technology) I/O expansion connector onto a PC/104 expandable SBC.  This combination gives designers I/O expansion for standard and custom PC/104 modules currently available, plus enhanced...
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.  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...
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...