Manufacturer of the Year: The 10 Finalist Companies

It’s that time! The editors have mulled over the fine submissions, talked with our Editorial Advisory Board, and chosen our Manufacturers of the Year (MOTY).

Heather Thompson

October 17, 2012

6 Min Read
Manufacturer of the Year: The 10 Finalist Companies

But before we reveal the (hopefully) best-kept secret in the industry, we wanted to share with our readers this year’s shortlist of medical device firms being considered. Here, we will provide a broad overview of the 10 companies we chose as finalists. And stay tuned—the final selection for MD+DI’s MOTY will be revealed in our November issue and on November 13th online.

Those who have bemoaned of lack of innovation in industry can set their minds at ease. The submissions for 2012 were chock-a-block with firms looking to push the edges of innovation, not just through technology (although we got a feast of edgy technology), but also through new acquisitions, new partnerships, new software and product management, and imaginative restructuring.

And so without further ado, these are MD+DI’s Top 10 Finalists in consideration for the Manufacturer of the Year.

Advanced Bionics is one of four companies held by Sonova Group, which specializes in hearing and wireless systems. MD+DI Lifetime Achievement award winner, Alfred E. Mann first established Advanced Bionics to focus on developing, manufacturing, and distributing cochlear implants for the restoration of hearing to the deaf. Advanced Bionics’ global headquarters is in Valencia, CA. Key technologies include the ClearVoice, which provides sound processing to enhance speech understanding, and the Neptune, a swimmable sound processor. Neptune was a 2012 MDEA finalist.

AirStrip Technologies is a software development company located in San Antonio, Texas. The company develops mobile applications that enable medical practitioners to view patient data in near-real time and displayed on a smart phone or tablet. This frees doctors from being tied down to a local network, as the data is transmitted securely via the cellular network or Wi-Fi). Their first product was AirStrip OB, which provides obstetricians and nurse midwives with the ability to view fetal-monitoring waveforms, such as contractions and fetal heart rate. Later, the company introduced AirStrip CARDIOLOGY for cardiac units and AirStrip PATIENT MONITORING for critical care.

CardioFocus develops Heartlight, an endoscopic ablation system that aims to achieve rapid, effective, and permanent isolation of the pulmonary veins, gain detailed vein anatomy, and reduce gaps between ablation lesions. The system includes a balloon catheter, a deflectable sheath introducer, a endoscope, and a integrated EAS console. In September, results from a pivotal multicenter clinical trial studying Heartlight showed a 99% acute success rate and up to an 82% chronic success rate at 12 months follow-up. The company is based in Marlborough, MA. CEO Steve Sagon was the subject of a Q&A in 2011 and continues to be an outspoken advocate of  

Hocoma is a privately held company based near Zurich, Switzerland. It develops therapies for neurorehabilitation and low back pain therapy. Hocoma was founded in 2000 as spin-off of the Spinal Cord Injury Center of the Balgrist University Hospital in Zurich, by electrical and biomedical engineers Gery Colombo and Matthias Jörg and the economist Peter Hostettler. Hocoma employs more than 120 people at its headquarter has offices in Norwell, Massachusetts and Singapore. Products center around the treatment of neurological patients with movement disorders caused by stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy or other neurological diseases and injuries as well as low back pain patients. General Manger of its Singapore subsidiary, Zen Koh, was named one of MD+DI's 40 Innovators Under 40 in 2012. 

Luminex is a biotechnology company based in Austin, TX that develops biological testing technologies. Luminex holds 79 patents, and more than 200 pending patents based on its multiplexing xMAP platform. The multiplex bead-based immunoassay-testing platform simultaneously measures multiple analytes by exciting a sample with a laser, and subsequently analyzing the wavelength of emitted light. Luminex's MAGPIX platform utilizes LED technology and digital photography to analyze,"color-coded magnetic microspheres" in 2011 the MAGPIX technology won a Medical Design Excellence Award.

Mindray was founded in 1991 in Shenzhen, China, with a mission to deliver high quality, competitively priced medical devices to make healthcare more accessible and affordable around the world. It’s broad product offering includes patient monitoring equipment, imaging equipment, and blood and chemistry analyzers. Mindray’s devices compare favorably with systems from Philips and GE in terms of quality, but come with an cost incentive. Mindray excels in branding, maintenance, and R&D, with a sales network that extends to more than 100 countries. The company received a 2011 Medical Design Excellence Award for its V Series patient monitoring system. Mindray is the first Chinese company to win an MDEA trophy.

Numera Health provides healthcare companies and consumers with affordable telehealth technology for care management and general wellness programs. The company’s platform-independent approach offers options to capture, analyze, and transmit objective health measurement data and integrate it with virtually any electronic health record (EMR, PHR, EHR). Number employs consumer off-the-shelf devices, and partners with health monitoring manufacturers to serve diabetes, asthma/COPD, weight management, cardiac, post-discharge and wellness programs, enabling connectivity through Numera NET and ENGAGE, FDA-cleared gateways that transmit via standard phone lines, PCs, and smartphones. The company also offers a portfolio of training, maintenance, and support services related to its products and services. Numera is headquartered in Seattle, WA.

OmniGuide provides precision surgical energy through a proprietary flexible CO2 laser technology, first created by researcher at MIT. BeamPath products have been used in more than 50,000 adult and pediatric surgical procedures in the fields of gynecology, otolaryngology, and neurosurgery. In 2012, the company launched Intelliguide, a system to improve the precision of its BeamPath technology. The company also closed $35 million non-dilutive financing with an affiliate of OrbiMed Advisors LLC. The financing structure allows OmniGuide significant flexibility for the next several years as the company grows its business.

Proteus Digital Health has created an integrating wearable and ingestible sensor technology to detect patient’s medication intake and physiologic data. It’s digital health feedback system stores information in a secure database accessible from a variety of devices. The sensor is powered by exposure to stomach fluids. After a pill containing the device is ingested, it communicates with a body-worn patch to give family, caregivers, or physicians a new way of tracking prescription drug adherence. The company received 510(k) clearance for its patient-powered system in July.

Sotera Wireless has developed the first continuous non-invasive blood pressure monitoring device, which also captures all vital signs. It’s product, the ViSi Mobile System has received 510(k) clearance from FDA and the company is commencing sales to hospitals nationwide. Eric Topol sits on Sotera's board. The ViSi Mobile System, as approved, uses WiFi (802.11) wireless technology for transmission of patients’ vital signs, keeping hospital clinicians connected to their patients, whether patients are in bed or up and moving around. 

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