Back in May 2005, we wrote about the need for medical devices designed just for kids. Often, adult devices are simply modified for use with children, which isn’t always best for their smaller sizes and special needs.
Two years ago, FDA sought comments from manufacturers, among other groups, on how to help identify the most pressing pediatric device needs, promote discussion of feasible modifications to existing adult devices, and generate ideas for new pediatric devices.
Somebody was paying attention. Recently, the Institute for Pediatric Innovation (Cambridge, MA) was formed to address some of these needs. The nonprofit organization will work with three major children’s hospitals in California, Kansas, and Ohio, to redesign drugs and devices to better fit children’s requirements.
First, the Institute will develop a list of the most promising drugs and devices to be reformulated. Doctors and nurses would meet with engineers to brainstorm solutions based on the priority needs of the children’s hospitals in the coalition.
Congress seems to be onboard too. It has approved legislation to provide such organizations $6 million annually for the next five years. It will also allow them to set prices for children’s devices that will be high enough to make a profit, as long as no more than 4000 are distributed each year.
The formation of the institute is a great opportunity for engineers to provide their input. It’s a step in the right direction in designing appropriate medical devices for children.
And, on a personal note, it’s especially reassuring to me because in just a few more weeks I am going to be a first-time parent. It’s nice to know that industry is working on devices that one day may benefit my child.
While I’m excited to be starting this new chapter in my life, it does mean a few changes are in order for MPMN. I’ll be leaving the magazine, so I can be a stay-at-home mom with my new baby.
But MPMN will benefit from the considerable skills of our talented managing editor, Shana Leonard. She’ll be taking over this column, starting with the September issue, as well as the day-to-day operations of the magazine.
Shana has been with MPMN for more than two years and has written the majority our in-depth features during that time. Doing so has given her a great deal of knowledge about the industry, and I’m looking forward to reading her editorial perspective.
And, as always, group editor Norbert Sparrow will be lending his expertise to the magazine as well, so you can be sure that MPMN will continue to bring you all the latest products and services, news, and information in the medical device industry.
Susan Shepard, Editor