If we talk about the aftermaths of a war or a natural calamity, one of the major issues of concern is the amputation. And the main reason behind this is the blood loss due to injured limbs. The Mechanical Advantage Tourniquet (MAT) developed by the Cybertech Medical Product Development is the most proficient and preferred device used by the Army, Navy, and Marines to avert the loss of blood and tissue damage. The MAT has already got a Gold 2006 Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA Award). The Business Week selected the MAT in their feature ‘Design for a Dangerous Planet’ in the July 10 ‘Best Product Design of 2006′ issue. The design of the MAT makes it quite easy to use and prevents the tissue damage and loss of limbs. The results have been positive and outstanding.
Bionic technology has surely reached the heights if we take the example of the prosthetic knee system that has got its own brains. I am not joking. Ossur Bionics has developed an astounding product, RHEO KNEE that automatically adjusts itself to the person’s walking style and surroundings. The RHEO KNEE, the world’s first microprocessor swing and stance knee system, employ the power of artificial intelligence to adapt to any situation and responds instantly to changes in speed and landscape. The small battery of RHEO KNEE once charged can last upto 48 hours. What I can do now is to eagerly wait for the Ossur Bionics to come up with something more striking in bionic technology.
SmartPill pH.p Capsule developed by SmartPill Corp. has got FDA’s approval. The capsule, which is a wireless, indigestible medical device, can be swallowed like any ordinary vitamin pill to determine the medical pressure, gastric emptying time (gastroparesis) and total transit time. When the capsule passes through the gastrointestinal tract, it collects all the data and sends it to the receiver that is tied to the patient’s belt. When the single use SmartPill is excreted from the body, all the information can be downloaded from the SmartPill Data Receiver.
A Calgary based biotech firm, SemBioSys has put one step ahead in the field of bio-technology by producing commercial quantities of human insulin from genetically modified safflower plants that would have a significant effect on the diabetes market. Andrew Baum, president and chief executive officer of SemBioSys Genetics Inc. said: We believe that when we’re successful, people in the developing world, who otherwise wouldn’t get insulin because there isn’t enough supply or they can’t afford it, will get it. The projected insulin demand for the year 2010 is soaring 16,000 kg and that can be met by just 16,000 acres of safflower farming. Brian Bapty, an analyst with Raymond James in Vancouver, said: This company exists because it has the production and manufacturing capacity that suggests they can beat everybody on price. The technology would be a relief for the diabetic patients as the demand for insulin is expected to grow due to earlier diagnosis and increased incidence based on demographic trends, as well as, consumption and behavioural habits.
Dr Thomas Force, who teaches medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, has revealed that the cancer-fighting drug, Gleevec can also be a cause of heart failure in leukemia patients under treatment. Force urged the doctors to be aware of the fact that Gleevec could effect the heart. Novartis, on the other hand, supported a detailed research on the matter. Force said that 10 patients taking Gleevec at the University of Texas’ M.D. Anderson Cancer Center have developed the symptoms of heart failure The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Finnish Heart Foundation and the Paavo Nurmi Foundation supported the research.
Abbott, global health care company, is all set to preview the m2000, its new real-time PCR automated molecular diagnostic system, at the annual American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) meeting in Chicago (July 23-27). Edward Michael, president of Abbott Molecular, said: The m2000 has been designed to help our customers deliver patient test results quickly and efficiently, with extremely accurate results. This innovative system represents our continued commitment to accelerate automation for the clinical molecular laboratory and improve the diagnosis, monitoring and care of patients with infectious diseases and other serious illnesses. The m2000 system comprises two instruments: the Abbott m2000sp and the m2000rt. It links an automated sample preparation instrument (m2000sp) with an integrated real-time PCR amplification and detection instrument (m2000rt) via software to provide automation from sample extraction to the reporting of the final test result. The robotic arm of m2000 eliminates steps such as manual pipetting, reducing hands-on time required to prepare samples for DNA/RNA testing by as much as 75 percent.
Smith & Nephew’s Orthopaedic Trauma & Clinical Therapies has got the green signal from FDA for its EXOGEN 4000+* Bone Healing System. The EXOGEN 4000+ Bone Healing System is a low-intensity pulsed ultrasound device that is externally applied 20 minutes a day over the site of a broken bone. It is the ONLY bone stimulator that uses ultrasound technology to heal the fractures faster than earlier. Ken Reali, vice president and general manager, Orthopaedic Clinical Therapies, said: Receiving FDA approval for the EXOGEN 4000+ Bone Healing System is yet another win for surgeons and patients. While the accelerated healing potential and non-union treatment capabilities of the system continue to provide the same non-invasive alternative to surgery, the design upgrades make it easier to operate further optimizing patient care. The EXOGEN 4000+ Bone Healing System will hit the market by the end of 2006 and will substitute the EXOGEN 2000+*.
A joint venture of Hitachi’s Central Research Laboratory and Schools of Engineering and Medicine, University of Tokyo, led to the development of Contrast Agent Technology for ultra-sonic diagnostic equipment. The technology works by transforming the contrast agents made of nano-sized droplets into micron-sized bubbles that emit reflected signals requisite to get tumor tissue images. With this technology, we can get the information on blood vessels as well as tumor issues.
Everything in the medical gadgets world is undergoing significant changes and transformation whether we take the example of the new Implanon or the Rheo Knee. Now, it’s the turn of DNA. The researchers claim that they have found a second code in DNA in addition to the genetic code. Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute in Israel and Jonathan Widom of Northwestern University in Illinois and their colleagues describe the new code in the current issue of Nature. The genetic code specifies all the proteins that a cell makes. The second code, superimposed on the first, sets the placement of the nucleosomes, miniature protein spools around which the DNA is looped. The spools both protect and control access to the DNA itself. What the researchers claim, if confirmed, could open new insights into the higher order control of the genes, like the critical but still mysterious process by which each type of human cell is allowed to activate the genes it needs but cannot access the genes used by other types of cell.
Evidence Based Medicine is the technology that enables the doctors to make precise decision on the medication of their patients rather than just giving a personal opinion. Evidence based medicine is the right care at the right time. Dr. Michael LeFevre, medical director for the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Missouri at Columbia said : The operative words here are ‘good science’. Decisions are based on evidence that includes consistent results from a number of studies … carried out on a large number of patients in a variety of settings. At Esse Health, The doctors examine the patient and feed all the information into the laptop. The computer brings back information on tests that work, tests that don’t work, remedies that work, remedies that are used but don’t work, and even remedies that many doctors didn’t know would work. That is pretty interesting as the patient and the doctor can arrive to a mutual decision. Moreover, Doctors are at ease with this technology while treating their patients.