During a visit to the dentist, 23-year-old industrial designer Leah Kenttämaa-Squires began thinking about how to improve dental care in developing countries. Before the dentist had arrived, she had already had come up with the basic design for a dental and medical chair that facilitates transport of medical equipment. “When I got home, I researched on the Internet about what's on the market, what's been used and what are the problems," recent graduate of Purdue University Leah Kenttämaa-Squires explains. "Then I interviewed dentists and doctors about what they needed to treat patients in Third World countries."

Known as the Mantis, the patent-pending portable medical chair can be used for dental care and physical treatments. “We call the chair the Mantis because of its design to...

June 21st, 2011
0

 Wired has a long piece on how feedback loops (a model for changing human behavior) and relatively cheap sensor technology are going to dramatically alter our lives, and guess what features front and center? That's right, sports fans: healthcare. As an example of the effectiveness of feedback loops, the article highlights a product that reminds patients when to take their medication. 

From the article:

The GlowCap... connects to a database that knows the patient’s particular dosage directions—say, two pills twice a day, at 8 am and 8 pm. When 8 am rolls around, the GlowCap and the night-light start to pulse with a gentle orange light. A few minutes later, if the pill bottle isn’t opened, the light pulses a little more urgently. A few minutes more and the device begins to play a melody—not an annoying buzz or alarm.

If the "melody" ("Fever" by Peggy Lee? "Rockin' Pneumonia and the...

June 20th, 2011
0

At the recent MDEA ceremony, several medical devices were honored for achievements in design and clinical significance. In addition, Alfred Mann was the recipient of the inaugural Lifetime Achievement award.

The video of Mr. Mann's speech at the ceremony, which includes a discussion of his latest project can be seen here:

Alfred Mann Acepts MD+DI Lifetime Achievement Award

Related News

Alfred E. Mann Wins MDEA Lifetime Achievement Award
by Brian Buntz, MD+DI.

UBM Canon Announces Winner of 2011 MDEA...

June 20th, 2011
0

Andrew Ekdahl has a a lot to do. The 20-year-veteran has been named the new president of DePuy Orthopaedics.  Ekdahl hails from DePuy's Europe, Middle East, and Africa franchise where he served as vice president. He'll replace David Floyd, who resigned in March.

DePuy has been under harsh scrutiny during the past year, and Ekdahl will have to hit the ground running. Among his Immediate tasks are to:

June 16th, 2011
0

J&J has ceased development of its Nevo heart stent and ended manufacturing its Cypher stent. The Cordis business unit has decided to dump these drug-eluting stents (DES), but continue to sell bare metal stents.

Once hailed as a bockbuster device, DES have not seen the expected payoff in recent years, particularly for J&J. Cypher, which was introduced in 2003, saw annual sales of $2.6 billion. But the stent was on track for only about $400 million this year, according to Gabelli & Co analyst Jeff Jonas. Its sales generate only about 1% of company profit, he said. J&J has also had trouble developing new stents, including Nevo.

"The stents were kind of an albatross," Jonas told Reuters, adding that "the...

June 15th, 2011
0

Japan’s two primary medical device industry associations have issued a policy agenda, reports Miki Anzai. The Japan Federation of Medical Devices Associations (JFMDA) and the Medical Engineering Technology Industrial Strategy consortium (METIS) are pushing for the creation of a Japan-led medtech community within Asia. Their objective is to help Japan remain competitive in Asia as the region experiences growth.

The associations are calling for, among other things:

  • Collaboration among industry, government and academia to advance medtech-related market research in China, India and other Asian nations.
  • Shortened PMDA review times at home and standardized approval systems within Asia.
  • ...
June 13th, 2011
0

Driven by the need to reduce costs, increase productivity and develop more integrated business models, medical device companies were a significant driver in M&A activity during the first half of 2011, according to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The medical device industry will consolidate to achieve cost savings and diversify product portfolios, driven by the need to combat the impact of federal excise taxes, downward pressure on pricing and reimbursement, and declining procedure volumes in certain high cost treatment areas.

 

June 13th, 2011
0

A USA Today article examining the growing popularity of business clusters puts the medical device industry in an interesting light: as the possible cure for what's been ailing the United States' stumbling manufacturing sector. Population centers that were built to support once-great industries, so the thinking goes, will be able to pull themselves back from the brink by becoming the place for, say, medical device manufacturing. 

From the article:

Cluster theory holds that manufacturers and suppliers often want to be in proximity to collaborate on product design. Companies want to be near universities to benefit from the latest innovations. And bigger clusters attract still more companies that seek access to a large pool of skilled workers.

The article focuses on Cleveland, where there has been a concentrated effort to foster a biotech cluster, and Astro Manufacturing and Design, a company based in nearby Eastlake, OH, that is part of...

June 7th, 2011
0

 Companies able to use technological advancements to make medical devices more intelligent, faster, and cost-effective have made great strides in the industry. Breakthrough advancements have improved patient monitoring, safety, and outcomes, reduced recovery time, and prevented costly complications.

Although U.S. companies make up more than half of the listing of the top 100 medical device companies, the proliferation of international giants shows that the industry is generating more profits from global outreach efforts. Emerging medical device markets are anticipated to grow at much faster rates than the United States in the years to come. China and India are forecasted to generate double-digit annual growth during the next five years due to their manufacturers' ability to develop quality devices at a lower cost.

The Johnson & Johnson family of businesses remains the world's largest and most diverse medical device and diagnostic company. During 2010,...

June 7th, 2011
0

  AdvaMed released a "competitiveness agenda" this week, in which it spelled out six policy recommendations for improving the medical device industry's standing in the United States. Most of the recommendations were fairly standard, including calls for an accelerated device approval process and a boost to the R&D tax credit. One proposal, however, stands out as especially bold: The advocacy group wants the White House to create an "office of medical innovation policy" that would act to ensure that the government's actions are supportive of medical device "innovation."

From an outline that the group put on its Web site:

The office would serve as a focal point for groups and...

June 6th, 2011
0