MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Patient safety is the number 1 concern keeping medical device engineers up at night, followed closely by uncertainty in healthcare industry, according to an recent poll by QMed editor Brian Buntz.
The survey revealed that, in addition to patient safety and an shaky future, medical device engineers are also preoccupied with overbearing verification testing, the conflict between profit and patient safety and collaboration with end-users such as physicians and surgeons.
An unfair map of the organ donor list prompts gerrymandering
Some doctors, frustrated with complicated geography-based organ donor rules, have proposed "gerrymandering" the organ donor maps for the public good.
Often a patient’s access to a transplant depends on his or her home state, and some patients actually cross state lines to move up the list. Similar to the political practice of redrawing map lines for votes, the U.S. transplant network wants to redistrict maps to the way donated organs are divvied up across the country.
Telemedicine improves rural hospital care
Telemedicine, or peer-to-peer medical advice through videoconferencing,
is an increasingly popular way for doctors in remote clinics to improve patient care. In a recent study, 5 rural hospitals and doctors’ offices set up a direct link with ER physicians at the U.C. Davis Children’s Hospital. The study authors rated the quality of care provided with and without the teleconferencing and concluded that the technology does improve care in an ER setting.
Crowd-funding for cash-strapped device companies
B-a-MedFounder is a newly launched Web company targeting cash-strapped medical device companies, helping them crowd-source funding. The company, founded by Israeli urology professor Daniel Yachia, is similar to popular Internet-based crowd-funding sources for medical technology such as MedStartr and HealthFundr, but specifically targets much smaller medical device projects. Yachia said success for these small project relies not only a secure source of funding, but also good connections, a feature of the early development process that B-a-MedFounder also focuses on.
The device industry booms in Mexico
Mexico’s medical device industry is taking off. Analysts predict that the country’s production of medical technology and devices will grow 74% in the next 10 years for an estimated $14.9 billion by 2020. Mexico is inching up the charts as a global player, now the 11th largest manufacturer in the field.
The country’s biggest customer is the U.S., with more than 80% of products being shipped to Mexico’s northern neighbor.