Medtech stories we missed this week: Sept. 22, 2017

From the FDA’s clearance of Covalon’s film-drape to Bioventus launching its study, here are seven medtech stories we missed this week but thought were still worth mentioning. 1. FDA clears Covalon’s MediClear OTC surgical film-drape Covalon announced in a Sept. 21 press release that the FDA has cleared its MediClear PreOp to market in U.S. hospitals,

This sweat-powered biofuel cell could create better wearable devices

Engineers at the University of California at San Diego have created a stretchable sweat-powered biofuel cell, and it could enable better wearables. The biofuel cells use energy from sweat to generate 10 times more power per surface area than other biofuel cells that are used in wearables. The researchers claim it could be used to

Medtech innovation: Here’s how you speed it up

Here’s how medtech can speed up its processes and tap into innovation, courtesy of Peter Douglass, director of technical operations at Proto Labs. Innovation in the medtech space is what every company wants. And there are many theories on how to get there. One is that improving the speed at which you develop will naturally

FDA cuts could threaten medtech innovation: Here’s why

The Trump administration’s proposed federal budget could hurt the speed and quality of FDA review times, says a top expert at Musculoskeletal Clinical Regulatory Advisers (MCRA). Glenn Stiegman, MCRA Innovation is a vital element of success for medical device companies. More than 6,500 U.S. companies are developing technologies that improve patient outcomes. This represents a

Medtech stories we missed this week: September 8, 2017

From BrainScope’s pediatric traumatic brain injury assessment device to EOS Imaging releasing new surgery planning software, here are seven medtech stories we missed this week but thought were still worth a mention. 1. BrainScope to develop pediatric traumatic brain injury assessment device BrainScope announced in a Sept. 7 press release that it will immediately start creating

Did Congress just kill medical device innovation?

The Medical Device User Fee Amendments bill that Congress passed this year is more than an FDA fees hike for device companies; it could inhibit innovation, says Michael Drues, a regulatory consultant based outside Boston. That’s because MDUFA 2017 includes new user fees – about $23,000 for small companies and $93,000 for large companies – for

This exoskeleton could eliminate crouch gait

The National Institutes of Health has created what it claims is the first robotic exoskeleton that is designed to treat crouch gait in children who have cerebral palsy. Crouch gait occurs when there is excessive bending of the knees while walking. It is a common condition in children with cerebral palsy. The NIH reports that

Cell stacking technology creates living human organs

Research engineers at Brown University have figured out a way to build tiny versions of human organs one micro-level at a time, and Igus technology helped enable the innovation. Using cells that are shaped as microscopic honeycomb-like patterns, Jeffrey Morgan, a professor at the university, created a method that consists of precisely stacking molded cells and

Cells can be programmed into living devices: Here’s how

Synthetic biologists at Harvard University have programmed microbial cells into living devices that can produce drugs, fine chemicals and biofuels and detect disease-causing agents. A team of biologists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering fit cells with artificial molecular machinery that could sense stimuli like toxins in the environment, metabolite levels and inflammatory

BMZ Group opening new center to develop batteries

BMZ Group will open its E.Volution Center next month in Aschaffenburg, Germany. The addition will include 150 developers focused on creating the energy storage systems of the future. Under chief technical officer Dirk Oestreich’s leadership, the company plans to develop 200 new battery systems that can be used in medical products, cars, bicycles and more.

Soft, water-powered robot makes endoscopic surgery easier

Harvard researchers have created a rigid-soft robotic arm for endoscopes that can sense, flex and has multiple degrees of freedom. Flexible endoscopes fit through narrow passages to reach difficult parts of the body. Once they reach their target, the devices need rigid surgical tools to be able to manipulate or remove tissues. Researchers from Harvard’s

Microinnovation: what paper towels have to teach us about medtech

How can you double the efficiency of a paper towel? Turns out you don’t need to reformulate or make the paper thicker. Instead, you find a simple concept that offers users a new way to think about the product. That’s what happened when paper towel manufacturers began producing the half-sized sheet. Roger Smith thinks the

Non-invasive cell probing offers new insight into disease progression

Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers have figured out a way to assess the mechanical properties of a cell using simple observation. Usually, cells have to be probed with expensive instruments like atomic force microscopes and optical tweezers to determine the mechanical properties of a cell. Those methods make direct and invasive contact with the cells. The

4 ways wearables will transform healthcare’s future

Wearable technology is moving beyond consumer-grade health and wellness devices – the daily step counters and heart rate trackers offered by the likes of Apple, Fitbit and Garmin. “They’re convenient, small, portable and inexpensive, but you don’t use consumer items for life and death,” said Dr. Arthur Combs, chief medical officer at flexible electronics company MC10

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7 diagnostic devices to boost healthcare in the developing world

The World Health Organization estimates that a quarter of death and disease globally is caused by hazards and environmental burdens in developing countries with little to no access to preventative care and diagnostic devices. Since developing countries are poor agricultural regions that are still becoming economically and socially advanced, it is harder for doctors to

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