As a recent article from the Economist points out, the demand for health care is rising faster than the supply of doctors. Titled "Squeezing out the doctor," the article points out that technology is increasingly stepping in to perform tasks once performed by physicians. In addition, patients are empowering themselves and taking a greater role in their own healthcare. 

In any event, the question of what role physicians will play in the future has been receiving a lot of attention of late. I've gathered what I think are some of the more interesting musings on the subject below and have bolded and italicized some of the key points. 

Bryan Vartabedian

Pediatric gastroenterologist and social...

May 31st, 2012

by Joe Pustka

Historians of science and academics studying creativity tell us that many “novel” ideas and breakthroughs that have changed the world have really come about when the discoveries of one field “cross-pollinate” into the field of ideas in another.

That might not have been the driver but it may well be the result of UBM Canon bundling several industry shows into one hall. The medical device industry shared space with innovators in plastics, packaging, and other fields.

We certainly felt it at the USON Innovative Systems booth while at MD&M East. We had a lot of traffic this year—perhaps because the show was busy or perhaps also because we had an attention-grabbing moving robotic arm leak testing station in our display. We enjoyed meeting a medley of visitors, some from well beyond the device industry—everything from egg processors to a brake manufacturer, mixed in with medical device industry personnel who...

May 31st, 2012

Nancy Singer is president of Compliance-Alliance, LLC. She is also a tireless regulatory advocate, warning medtech firms of the dangers lurking in e-mails, post-it notes, and other seemingly benign documents. Singer teaches a course on these dangerous documents and has talked about it with MD+DI. She is also a long-time member of MD+DI's editorial advisory board.

Nancy SingerMD+DI: How did you get your start in the medical device and technology industry?

My first job was as a prosecutor for the U.S Department of Justice where I performed litigation for the Food and Drug Administration. My next job was to defend drug and device companies who were being prosecuted. Today I teach companies how...

May 30th, 2012

The new Medical Device ISO 13485:2003 Voluntary Audit Report Submission Pilot Program is generating plenty of buzz in the industry and holds the promise of delivering significant benefits to consumers, OEMS, contract manufacturers and, yes, even the FDA itself.


The program is open to foreign and domestic medical device manufacturers previously audited under one of the regulatory systems in the framework of the regulations of the founding members of the Global Harmonization Task Force (GHTF), which includes Canada, the European Union, Australia, and Japan.

Under the pilot program, effective June 5, 2012, manufacturers will be able to proactively report to the FDA with particulars of...

May 30th, 2012
 Image via MITnews

In the late 19th century, Hendrick Lorentz, a Dutch physicist, described what later became known as the Lorentz force. Essentially, a charged particle can be accelerated by moving it through an electric and magnetic field. Today, researchers at MIT are applying the same principle to medical device innovation.

They have developed a device that uses the Lorentz force to inject tiny, high pressure jets of medicine directly through the skin at near sonic speeds. Though it sounds intense, the procedure is purportedly less painful than a traditional needle...
May 30th, 2012

This Week in Devices [ 5/25/12] : Are Medical Devices a Ticking Time Bomb?


Medical Devices – A Ticking Time Bomb?

  • The Economist examines the potential dangers as medical devices become more digitized and networked

    Source: The Econonmist


Medical Device Manufacturers get a Little Help from NASA

  • Since they aren't launching space shuttles anymore NASA engineers are reaching out to other industries to provide assistance and expertise – including companies in the medical device sector.

    Source: ...

May 25th, 2012

Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has been a staunch supporter of the medical device industry since she was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006. Last year she joined with Scott Brown (R-MA) to form the bipartisan Senate Medical Technology Caucus to raise awareness about issues faced by the industry. She has also sponsored legislation to streamline FDA; introduced the Innovate America Act, which calls for R&D tax credits for companies; and is fighting to reduce the medical device tax.

MD+DI: How did you first become involved in the medtech industry?

: Minnesota is a national leader in medical device innovation with companies small and large creating good jobs and life-saving products. I have worked with our business leaders to help foster an environment that promotes...

May 22nd, 2012

Kathryn Stecco, MD is a medical device executive, entrepreneur, and a surgeon who is the co-founder and chief medical officer of Altai Medical Technologies (San Jose, CA), which specializes in mobile health, medical device, biotech and health information technologies. At Altai Medical Technologies, Stecco leads medical research, guides in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical research, and develops domestic and international clinical and regulatory strategies.

She also works as a medical consultant EndoShape Inc. (Boulder, CO) and Allurion Technologies Inc. (Wellesley, MA). In addition, Stecco serves as the medical director of Nfocus Neuromedical Inc. (Palo Alto, CA). She also has a concierge medical practice and operates a sole proprietorship that specializes in due diligence on emerging medical technologies for venture capital firms, medical device...

May 21st, 2012


How can the Medical Industry be More Like Facebook?

  • In the wake of Facebook's IPO, Forbes' Matthew Herper wonders if the medical industry can inspire the same level of innovation and investment as the social network.

Patient's Voices are Changing Medical Devices


Medical Devices...

May 18th, 2012

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has announced at a press conference today that the FCC will consider opening segments of the wireless spectrum for monitoring medical patients. If approved next week at the FCC's commission meeting it will make the U.S. the first country to allocate wireless spectrum for medical body-area networks (MBANs). The networks will allow information from mobile and wireless-enabled medical devices to be transmitted in hospitals, doctor's offices, and, eventually, even patients' homes. Device manufacturers will be able to streamline their product development and enjoy increased spectrum capacity and reliability.

Currently almost 50% of all patients in US hospitals are not monitored. In his statement Genachowski says that MBANs will enable patient monitoring in real time that is both accurate and...
May 17th, 2012