Learning and innovating — what medtech does best
The medical device industry never stands still. There’s always so much to learn, not just from colleagues, but from others within your market segment and those working in completely different areas of the business.
This year’s edition of MDO’s Medical Device Handbook can add reams of information to that knowledge. Pick a topic — device components, drug delivery, manufacturing, materials, regulatory, legal, software, sterilization, tubing — and you’ll be better informed. We address timely topics that affect the industry as well, including the presidential election and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senior editor Danielle Kirsh dove deeply into donation data to learn which presidential candidates medtech workers and their families are supporting with their dollars. We also report on expectations of how a Trump administration versus a Biden administration would affect the industry, federal regulations and patient safety.
And we continue to cover medtech’s evolving response to the COVID-19 pandemic. If there is another spike in infections, will there be enough personal protective equipment for frontline workers?
Chief among the array of facial and body coverings is the N95 respirator, designed to filter out 95% of airborne particles. Manufacturers continue to churn them out by the thousands, but the masks are supposed to be discarded after every patient. When that’s not possible, frontline healthcare workers may wear the same mask all day. When that’s not enough, those masks can be decontaminated, but which method is best at killing the virus, preserving mask shape and strap integrity so it will continue to protect the wearer? We report on some of the latest research on decontamination methods and an effort by a veterinary school to repurpose a building to decontaminate masks for healthcare providers and first responders.
On the race to develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, executive editor Chris Newmarker tells the story of how a microarray patch made by Vaxxas may be used as a delivery platform for a major drug-maker’s vaccine candidate.
We also bring you stories of how some of the brightest minds in device development recast their pre-pandemic projects to address the pandemic scourge. Harvard University professor Jeff Karp and colleagues are working on a gel that could kill SARSCoV- 2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as soon as it enters the nasal passages. And Northwestern University bioengineer John Rogers and colleagues converted a device they designed to detect swallowing problems in stroke patients to a COVID-19 symptom detector for frontline healthcare workers. Not only can it alert physicians to cough, labored breathing and fever, it uses artifi cial intelligence to generate data that is furthering research on pandemic symptoms.
Karp acknowledged the energy and passion that the pandemic has inspired among medtech innovators. “As problem solvers who have a lot of access to resources and incredible collaborators, we’re trying to think of everything we can to help in many different areas.”
We at MDO hope that the information we provide in this Handbook will inspire you to continue innovating in this evolving industry.
Medical Design & Outsourcing