These days, nearly every electronic medical device also has an embedded software component. It can be daunting when your software background is limited and you’re responsible for a product with a large software element. Software efforts are notoriously difficult to manage—many projects’ budgets and schedules have spiraled out of control because the software development effort took much longer than expected.

...
April 19th, 2012
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Last week’s TEDMED 2012 event in Washington, DC, brought together experts from a variety of disciplines—the sciences, media, business, and the arts—to brainstorm solutions to the world's most pressing healthcare problems.

People working in healthcare tend to connect in silos, with specialists interacting mainly with others in their specific fields, said TEDMED curator and emcee Jay Walker. The goal of conference, he said, was to assemble a diverse crowd to focus on innovation, imagination, and inspiration.

“People from the front lines of medicine across all fields are here,” Walker said.

The four-day conference addressed topics ranging from next-generation medical technologies to how to pay for treatment. Speakers included medical device company...

April 18th, 2012
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The long and winding road from auto parts supplier to medical device manufacturer has been a fruitful journey for Asahi Intecc, Japan's leading maker of PTCA (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty) guiding catheters. The company's international reputation for quality, service and low cost was recognized at MEDTEC Japan, where it received the Grand Award during the MEDTEC Japan Innovation Awards ceremony on April 18. Organised by UBM Canon, the MEDTEC Japan tradeshow and conference is held in Yokohama, Japan, on April 18 and 19.

Winners in other categories included Misuzu Industries, which plays a key role in the manufacture of an implantable left ventricular assist system, and Charmant Group, which fabricates titanium-based products for...

April 18th, 2012
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For physicians with an inclination for procrastination, the October 1, 2014 deadline for transitioning to ICD-10-CM may come as a rude awakening. But neurosurgeons attending this year’s AANS Annual meeting have been given ample warning, thanks to Dr. John Ratliff’s presentation, “What Neurosurgeons Need to Know Now to Prepare.”
 
The International Classification of Diseases, or ICD, is the international standard diagnostic classification for all general epidemiological, and many health management and clinical purposes.
 
Right now, physicians in the United States use the 9th edition of ICD (ICD-9-CM), the version developed by the WHO and that’s been in place since 1979. However, with new medical discoveries and advances in technology, ICD-9-CM can no longer capture the complexity of modern diagnoses and procedures.
 
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April 17th, 2012
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Jacob ScottJacob Scott, MD is an astrophysicist with experience in nuclear submarines. He is also a radiation oncologist and is earning a doctorate degree in math. Oh, and he's only 35 years old.

But, he prefers to be known as a cross-disciplinary long-range scout rather than be heralded for any of his single achievements.

Speaking at TEDMED last week, Scott explained that medical science needs people who can connect the dots between subspecialties. MD-trained scientists are well suited for doing this, he said. Medical school is “like a backstage pass to everything cool about being a human being,” Scott explained. “As a med student, all you have to do is look curious and confused, and people show you everything they have ever done that is cool.”

But the field of medicine has been discouraging creativity and...

April 16th, 2012
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Craniotomies have come a long way since Harvey Cushing, the father of “effective” neurosurgery. According to a 2010 New York Times article, “Inside Neurosurgery’s Rise,” Cushing became the first surgeon in history who could open the skull of living patients with a ‘reasonable certainty that his operations would do more good than harm.’ And he did so often using only the local anesthetic Novocain.

Even though diagnostic and technological advancements have made cranial-maxillofacial operations less burdensome for both the patient and the surgeon, these types of procedures can still be physically and mentally demanding.
At this year’s American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Annual Meeting we asked one of our customers, CMF Medicon, for their perspective on innovations to CMF procedures that enhance the efficiency of simple to complex cranial repair and...
April 16th, 2012
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Dr. Leslie Saxon is a fast talker. During her presentation at TEDMED this morning, the cardiologist who is also the head of the body-computing center at the Keck Medical Center at the University of Southern California, Saxon brought her heart to the stage.

The theme of Saxon’s presentation was that healthcare is a human story, not just a collection of data. But her point was that a doctor’s job is to help patients edit that story into something meaningful, especially as digital health goes global.
The story involved her efforts in measuring ECGs in people around the world, using the AliveCor ECG reader. AliveCor is a cell phone case that takes ECG measurements. These devices were passed out among 50 people and saw 36 tracings over an 8-week period.

Saxon reviewed these data (...

April 13th, 2012
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“A lot of smart people have great ideas, but few ever follow through with them,” says medtech entrepreneur Mir Imran in a book titled “Innovative Doctoring: Solutions Lie within Us” by Jeffrey S. Grossman, MD. Imran continues: “The fear of failure is what holds people back. What separates an inventor and entrepreneur from the academic researchers is their ability to take risks and to fail at something and not be devastated by it.”

Seth Cooper
 Cooper's TEDMED talk was titled “Why is My Joystick Smarter Than Your Stethoscope?”

Speaking at TEDMED, computer scientist Seth Cooper, PhD,...

April 13th, 2012
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This Week In Devices [4/13/2012 ]

TEDMED 2012 is Underway!

 

Is St. Jude Trying to Hide Defective Heart Devices?

April 13th, 2012
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In a Q&A session at TEDMED, Larry Brilliant, president and CEO of Skoll Global Threats Fund, asked FDA commissioner Margaret “Peggy” Hamburg, MD how she envisions balancing regulatory responsibilities “with the need to move innovative products through the pipeline.” Achieving that balance is one of the agency’s highest priorities although it remains a challenge, she said.

 Peggy Hamburg at TEDMED
 Larry Brilliant and Margaret Hamburg discussed the regulatory timelines of both drugs and medical devices at TEDMED. 

Hamburg stressed the importance of “smart regulation” in levelling the playing field for developers of innovative technologies...

April 13th, 2012
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