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Medical Devices to Reduce Pain

Because of the opioid addiction epidemic in the US, there has been a push this year to encourage the development of non-addictive methods of reducing chronic and acute pain. SPR Therapeutics has an FDA-cleared device that does that. The SprintPNS (peripheral nerve stimulation) device consists of an electrical lead that is guided to its placement [...]

By |device design, future trends|

Design Helps the Bottom Line

Want to increase revenues by 32% and increase returns to shareholders by 56%? According to a study by McKinsey & Company, that is what you can achieve by investing in design. To come up with those measures, McKinsey analyzed 2 million pieces of financial data and 100,000 actions that companies took to deliberately make design [...]

By |device design|

Attack of the Microbots

Last week I wrote about research being done at Harvard to develop micro-scale soft robots. Well, just down the street from Harvard, MIT is working to develop robots that are the size of a single cell. But more than an advancement in robotics, the MIT effort is being touted as a breakthrough method of manufacturing [...]

By |future trends|

Micro-scale Soft Robots

Medical robotics has been focused mainly on large, sophisticated systems that make surgery more efficient. Now we are seeing developments in tiny, soft robotic devices that could move around inside the body to perform various medically related tasks, from delivering drugs to a precisely targeted area to actually performing surgery. For example, Harvard’s Wyss institute [...]

By |future trends|

The Ears Have It

Wearable devices have grown into a substantial consumer market. Yet their usefulness has not lived up to their hype. Most people give them up after about six months. No one has come up with functionality that is compelling enough to foster continued use of wearable devices. Once their novelty wears off, their use is abandoned. [...]

By |future trends|

Touchscreens and Medical Devices

Touchscreens are becoming the predominant means of controlling devices of all kinds, including medical devices. It seems that more and more products are abandoning traditional hardware controls – push buttons, switches, sliders, knobs, etc. – for touchscreens. But current touchscreens have a serious drawback that makes them problematic to use and often frustrates the user. [...]

By |device design|

User Centered Design

Ease of use is a critical aspect of medical device design. A device that can be operated intuitively is a safer device – chances of use error are significantly reduced. A device that is simple to operate reduces the cognitive load of the user, allowing them to concentrate on the task, not on the device. [...]

By |device design|

Design of Wearable Medical Devices

There has been some interesting news on the design of wearable medical devices recently. Rutgers University is developing a wristband that can access the blood stream and draw up samples via a micron-sized tube. Sensors on the band can count blood cells, bacteria, organic matter and particles in the air, providing the capability to monitor and [...]

By |device design|

Radar to Detect Blood Glucose Levels

Scientists at the University of Waterloo are working on a device that would use radar to determine blood glucose levels. By analyzing how the electromagnetic waves sent by a radar transmitter bounce off of a glucose solution, the scientists were able to detect minute changes in the properties of solutions with different levels of glucose. [...]

By |future trends|

Where Medical Imaging is Headed

Most medical imaging technologies in widespread use today provide relatively low-resolution, black and white, 2-dimensional images that require significant training to interpret and understand. However, new technologies are being developed that are going to revolutionize medical imaging, allowing 3-dimensional, color images to be obtained. Some of those technologies can even yield video images in real [...]

By |future trends|