Medical devices

Medical devices

It’s almost impossible to prove the superiority of stents

As we know MNCs have been asked by NPPA to show the superiority of the stents but according to Boston scientific, it is impossible to prove such superiority. The company argues that such study would require a sample size of 15000 patients and they would have to be followed up for at least 5 years which looks impossible at the moment. One of the Japanese manufacturer said that by the time company would prove its superiority the technology would become redundant. Abbott wanted to withdraw its dissolvable product Absorb but NPPA rejected the request of withdrawal.

Graphene contact lens can monitor tear and an detect Diabetes early

New graphene based contact lenses are quite advanced and can monitor tears to detect glucose levels and pressure. Such lens can also detect the emergence of glaucoma which is a leading cause of blindness. These lenses are very comfortable, transparent and making an impact n medicine. Currently diabetic monitoring relies on painful pin-prick test which is painful.

Vitamin E can be useful in controlling ciprofloxacin release in contact lenses

According to recent research, vitamin E can be used to effectively control the ciprofloxacin binding and release in silicon-based contact lenses. This can provide sustained release of ciprofloxacin in eye and will provide better treatment. The results of the study were published in Eye & Contact Lens. After vitamin E loading, 5% – 18% increase was found in lens diameter in the hydrated state, whereas the lens diameter increased by 11% – 23% in the dry state.

A novel gun sprays stem cells and help burn victim grow skin in weeks

A revolutionary skin gun called SkinGun sprays stem cells into wounds and help patient to grow healthy tissue like skin in a week time. According to Daily Mail more than 60 patients have been successfully treated with this latest technique and the company RenovaCare is applying for FDA to get access to the routine clinical practices.

device1A new device can increase the survival in brain cancer patients

According to a recent research conducted at a major medical center in US, a new wearable device was successful in controlling the cancer growth in human brain by controlling the cell division. Low intensity, alternating, electric fields were applied to patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Patients were also receiving chemotherapy. The results of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the AACR in Washington. The study included 695 patients and showed that median survival was 21 months in patients receiving electric field plus chemo compared to those getting only chemo. The results are quite encouraging.

Graphene coated contact lenses can be next big thing in medical device field

Researchers at South Korea have been successful to develop graphene coated contact lenses which would overcome many problems associated with standard contact lenses. Such technology can avoid side effects like dry eye syndrome and infection. These can also protect eyes from harmful radiations and even can include LED to make computer integration easy.

Stent price control in India would save up to 4450 crore Rs

According to parliamentary discussion, stent price control would save 4450 crore Rs to Indian patients. NPPA has notified ceiling price of metal stent at Rs 7250, and drug eluting one at Rs 29500. Price regulation has brought down the prices by 74% and 85% respectively. In a separate statement, ministry of health has instructed hospitals to issue detailed bills to the patients with details related to brand name, manufacturer, pricing and other.

Sony got patent for the contact lens which can take videos with an eye blink

Per a recently published CNET report, Sony has got a patent for a contact lens which not only improves vision but also can take videos of what eye can see. There is a sensor in the lens that can differentiate between the voluntary and a deliberate blink. However tech on the paper has been feasible but there a long way off to see the actual application.

Contact lenses specifically designed to easy screen fatigue debuts – CooperVision

Those with digital lifestyles and who spends hours gazing at displays of all size, there is some good news for them. CooperVision has come up with the contact lenses which would make your work easy. The company showed off the lenses at CES 2017 the big trade show in Las Vegas. Sever out of each 10 people feel discomfort who use digital devices for long hours. Millions of people are affected across the globe.

Non-toxic biocompatible inks used in printed medical devices easier to make now

According to a research published in journal Nature Nanotechnology, scientists at University of Manchester in UK have built photosensors and devices with biocompatible ink. This is a water based 2D crystal inks which is very concentrated for high electrical performance. Water-based inks are already available in the market but these are based on the use of surfactants which are not safe for the human body. The institute researchers are in talks with companies exploring the commercial aspects.

It is confirmed that the profit margins on stents ranges from 250% to 1,000% 

According to data released by NPPA, it is officially confirmed that stent price rises to 10 times by the time it reaches from the manufacturer to the patient. Hospitals and the cardiologist are the most vocal against the price cap as these are the highest profit makers up to 600%. Not all hospitals are charging that much margins as it ranges from 10% to 650% across different hospitals.

Stents will be covered under Drug Price Control. Manufacturer upset with the order

All stents including biodegradable will be come under schedule-1 of the Drug Price Control Order. The decision has not been received well by manufacturers. AdvaMed and MTAI associations (device manufacturer associations) say that this would affect the revenues and research and development expenses which might decrease.

An amoeba infection cost a British contact lens user his eye

Here’s a reminder to keep your contact lenses clean. A British man who lost his eye to a rare infection last year says he wants people to be more aware of the risks. The infection’s called Acanthamoeba keratitis and it is caused by an amoeba found in ordinary tap water. While it is rare, it happens often enough to cause concern – almost always in contact lens wearers. Andrew Carthew, 59, told several British newspapers he didn’t think the infection was severe when he first felt his eye becoming watery and irritated. More at:

A Smart Contact Lens for Eye Injuries

A smart contact lens fitted with an artificial iris could help people with eye injuries and congenital diseases see better. The lens, described this week at the International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco, uses concentric LCDs to mimic the expansion and contraction of the pupil that’s normally controlled by the iris. The artificial iris is part of a larger project on smart contact lenses led by Herbert De Smet, a professor who works on intelligent sensors at the University of Ghent. De Smet’s group is working on putting many electronic components onto these lenses, including batteries, antennas, control electronics, and chemical sensors. More at:

Google’s Smart Autofocusing Contact Lens Delayed: Tests Pushed Back Beyond 2016

It may still be a long way to go before Alphabet, Google’s parent company, can finally set its smart, autofocusing contact lenses in motion, now that Swiss drugmaker Novartis has crossed 2016 as a potential human testing date, though it notes that the product is “progressing steadily.” A spokeswoman for Novartis has noted that a specific date for testing the product on humans remains difficult to determine. “This is a very technically complex process and both sides are learning as we go along,” she explained in an email to Reuters, promising to provide more updates “at the appropriate time” as development continues to advance. More at:

Good news: Stents safe, effective as bypass surgery for heart disease

Drug-eluting stents — a less-invasive alternative to bypass surgery — are as effective as surgery for many patients with a blockage in the left main coronary artery, a study has found. Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery has long been considered the definitive treatment for patients with left main coronary artery disease (LMCAD), in which the artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to most of the heart muscles is clogged with atherosclerotic plaque. However, stents, which are placed into the diseased artery via a catheter that is inserted through a small opening in a blood vessel in the groin, arm, or neck, are a less-invasive treatment option for many people with coronary artery disease. More at:

Vanishing stent vs durable stent wars continue

The initial results are in and it doesn’t look that great for vanishing or bioresorbable cardiac stents that are designed to dissolve into a patients’ body over time compared with durable drug-eluting stents that leave an implant behind. And if there aren’t superior outcomes, the rationale for forking over more money for bioresorbable polymer DES technology also … ahem vanishes. At the annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapies conference last week in Washington, D.C., Abbott presented three-year data on its Absorb bioresorbable polymer stent that is used to open clogged arteries and elute everolimus. The device is supposed to disappear from the body in two to three years. The device – Absorb GT1 BVS (bioresorbable vascular scaffold) won regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration in July.  More at:

3D-Printed Biodegradable Stents Bypass Traditional Stent Complications

Scientists from Northwestern University have developed a 3D-printed biodegradable stent that can be customized to fit the needs of individual patients.  According to researchers, the citrus-based polymer material used has natural antioxidant properties, and could potentially be loaded with anti-coagulation drugs to minimize complications. Traditionally, stent placement and sizing is dependent on the surgeon’s guesswork and experience. If a stent does not fit correctly, it could move in the vessel and ultimately fail, explained the researchers. Repairing the stent or placing a vascular graft exposes the patient to additional risk. Recent advances in stent technology have introduced devices that dissolve slowly over time to mitigate the long-term risk of a permanent implant. In July, Abbott announced FDA approval for the first fully-dissolving heart stent, Absorb. More at:

Scientists use 3-D printing to develop customized biodegradable stents

Most people have heard about personalized medicine. But how about personalized medical devices? Northwestern Engineering’s Guillermo Ameer and Cheng Sun have teamed up to use 3-D printing to develop flexible, biodegradable stents that are customized for a specific patient’s body. “Right now, the vast majority of stents are made from a metal and have off-the-shelf availability in various sizes,” said Ameer, professor of biomedical engineering in Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and professor of surgery in the Feinberg School of Medicine. “The physician has to guess which stent size is a good fit to keep the blood vessel open. But we’re all different and results are highly dependent on physician experience, so that’s not an optimal solution.” Supported by the American Heart Association, the research is published online in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies. Robert van Lith, a postdoctoral fellow in Ameer’s laboratory, and Evan Baker, a graduate student in Sun’s laboratory, are co-first authors of the paper. More at:

Two-stent culotte strategy not superior to T-stenting in bifurcation lesions with large side branches

In the treatment of coronary bifurcation lesions with large, stenosed side branches, a two-stent culotte technique did not yield any difference in 12-month death, MI or target vessel revascularization vs. a provisional T-stent strategy. However, the two-stent technique appears to be linked to increased procedural time, X-ray dose, expense and periprocedural MI, according to recent findings from the EBC TWO study. The provisional T-stent procedure also was more favorable in terms of procedure duration, fluoroscopy time, X-ray dose and estimated consumable cost, according to the researchers. More at:

New insulin pump flaws highlight security risks from medical devices

Medical device manufacturer Animas, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is warning diabetic patients who use its One Touch Ping insulin pumps about security issues that could allow hackers to deliver unauthorized doses of insulin. The vulnerabilities were discovered by Jay Radcliffe, a security researcher at Rapid7 who is a Type I diabetic and user of the pump. The flaws primarily stem from a lack of encryption in the communication between the device’s two parts: the insulin pump itself and the meter-remote that monitors blood sugar levels and remotely tells the pump how much insulin to administer. The pump and the meter use a proprietary wireless management protocol through radio frequency communications that are not encrypted. This exposes the system to several attacks. First, passive attackers can snoop on the traffic and read the blood glucose results and insulin dosage data. Then, they can trivially spoof the meter to the pump because the key used to pair the two devices is transmitted in clear text. More at:

FDA warns against going to sleep with contact lens in eyes

The Food and Drug Agency (FDA) is warning contact lens wearers not to wear their lenses for long periods of time and especially not while sleeping. Misuse of contacts can damage wearers’ vision, cause corneal perforation, viral infections or even, in extreme cases, cause loss of sight, the agency said. FDA official Huang Wei-sheng said that people who experience pain or extreme sensitivity to light (photophobia) while wearing contacts should stop wearing them, adding those who experience pain or swelling after wearing contacts should seek medical attention immediately. The cornea has no blood vessels to provide it with oxygen and relies on tears to relay oxygen to the surface area, Huang said. The tear ducts reduce their excretion of tears during sleep, and wearing contacts while sleeping reduces the amount of natural oxygen reaching the cornea, Huang said, adding that oxygen deprivation could cause cornea edema, cornea inflammation, or corneal ulcers. More at:

Now There’s A Contact Lens That Can Test Glucose Levels From Your Tears

Scientists have come up with new technology that allows you test your glucose levels via contact lens that samples tears. Blood testing is the most common and standard way of checking glucose level. “There’s no non-invasive method to do this. It always requires a blood draw. This is unfortunately the state of the art,” said WeiChuan Shih, from the University of Houston in the US. However, glucose is a good target for optical sensing, and especially for what is known as surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy, told Shih, who worked with colleagues at UH and in Korea to develop the project. This lens test is a new alternative approach in contrast to a Raman spectroscopy-based noninvasive glucose sensor Shih developed as a PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Researchers made a tiny device, built from multiple layers of gold nano-wires stacked on top of a gold film and produced using solvent-assisted nanotransfer printing, which optimised the use of surface-enhanced Raman scattering to take advantage of the technique’s ability to detect small molecular samples. The device increases the sensing properties by creating narrow gaps within the nanostructure which intensify the Raman signal, the researchers said. More at:

Novel heart valve replacement procedure could provide options for patients with rheumatic heart disease

Experts from the European Society of Cardiology recently presented a study regarding a new novel heart valve replacement method for patients with rheumatic heart disease. Rheumatic heart disease is caused by rheumatic fever, which results from a streptococcal infection. Patients with the disease develop fibrosis of the heart valves, which leads to valvular heart disease, heart failure and death. “Over the past decade heart valve surgery has been revolutionized by transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI),” Dr. Jacques Scherman, lead author of the study and surgeon at the Chris Barnard Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Cape Town, said. “Heart valves are replaced or repaired via a catheter, obviating the need for open heart surgery or a heart-lung machine. TAVI is only indicated in patients with calcific degenerative aortic valve disease, which is the most prevalent aortic valve pathology in developed countries. In developing countries, rheumatic heart disease still accounts for the majority of patients in need of a heart valve intervention.” More at:

Contact lenses may deliver own drops. If you’ve ever struggled with trying to get those tiny eye drops in just the right spot, read on.

Researchers have come up with a new type of contact-lens system that gradually delivers medication to your eye while you wear them. The design, described last week in the journal Opthalmology, is elegant, at least as far as these types of medical innovations go. The contact lens has a thin film that holds a medication, but only on the periphery so that the middle is clear. That middle part can be designed with no refractive power or to correct nearsightedness or farsightedness, as contacts usually do.  The research was conducted using latanoprost, a medication for glaucoma, and looked at how the contact lenses performed vs. traditional daily eye drops. This was a very early study, and it was done on monkeys. The researchers are testing similar systems in clinical trials on humans, but those results are not available yet. More at:

Drug-dispensing contact lenses offer hope to glaucoma patients at risk of going blind

Drug-dispensing contacted lenses could offer new hope to people suffering from glaucoma, which causes blindness, after they were found to be at least as effective as eye drops. Researchers say that the lens, which is designed to deliver medication gradually, may improve the treatment of patients who struggle with eye drops, which can be imprecise and difficult to self-administer. It is estimated that more than 500,000 people in England and Wales have glaucoma, a build-up of pressure on the eye, but many more people may suffer from the condition without having been diagnosed. More at:

Smart contact lens for diabetics developed by Waterloo engineers wins James Dyson Award

A team of University of Waterloo engineers have developed a contact lens that could completely change how diabetics monitor their blood sugar. The lens non-invasively monitors glucose levels and transmits the information to a mobile phone, Harry Gandhi, co-founder of Medella Health, told CBC News. Medella Health won the national prize in the James Dyson Award, a world-renowned design competition with a top national prize of $4,000. “If your glucose is too high or too low, before anything serious happens you can take action on your glucose levels and prevent any sort of negative implications of that,” he said. “So not only is it helpful in the short run, but in the long run you can look at your trends and actually be able to change habits,” Gandhi said. “It’s a deeper way of being able to understand our health.” More at:

Edwards earns first FDA approval for heart valve in intermediate-risk patients

Edwards Lifesciences has earned an expansion on its FDA approval for its SAPIEN 3 transcatheter aortic heart valve with the Commander Delivery System. The extension covers the treatment of intermediate-risk patients.

This extension represents the first ever transcatheter aortic valve that has been approved in the U.S. for use in intermediate risk patients, according to Bram Zuckerman, the FDA’s director of the division of cardiovascular devices at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “This new approval significantly expands the number of patients indicated for this less invasive procedure for aortic valve replacement,” Zuckerman explained. Intermediate risk patients fall into a category where there is a greater than 3% risk of death within 30 days of open-heart surgery, which is the gold standard for aortic valve replacement for those patients. However, open-heart surgery involves a larger incision and longer recovery time than treatment with a transcatheter aortic valve does. More at:

Medtronic warns doctors on heart valve delivery system after 19 deaths reported

Heart device maker Medtronic PLC is warning doctors worldwide to use extra care when inserting a popular new kind of heart valve in some patients, following reports of 19 deaths from severe blood vessel trauma. In a letter publicized late Tuesday, the Minnesota-run company informed doctors that it is voluntarily updating its instructions for using the minimally invasive EnVeo R delivery system, which doctors use to implant the Evolut R aortic valve in the heart. The device is used to treat a narrowing of the valve called aortic stenosis, which can lead to heart failure, irregular heart beats and fainting. An internal analysis of global Medtronic data recently turned up 39 cases in which patients sustained damage to their arteries while doctors used the EnVeo R system. Although the number of incidents was considered low in the context of tens of thousands of valve replacements, the complication is often lethal — 19 of those patients died. More at:

Novel device tests suitability of lens implants

Researchers in Spain have developed a hand-held device to help patients with cataracts visualize how the world would look depending on the type of artificial lens they get implanted. The device, dubbed the simultaneous vision simulator or simply SimVis, allows patients to experience an implanted lens’ effect on their vision before surgery, according to a statement. There has been a proliferation of intraocular lenses in the past decade to replace lenses clouded by cataracts. Some correct only far vision, requiring patients to wear glasses to correct their near vision, while multifocal lenses correct both near and far vision, but with some image quality and contrast tradeoffs, according to the statement. “Currently, the decision on which intraocular lens is implanted during cataract surgery is typically based on the explanations and experience of the surgeon,” said Carlos Dorronsoro, first author of the paper, in the statement. But because it’s difficult to translate a surgeon’s descriptions into an imagined visual experience, it is difficult for patients to make the decision, he said. More at:

Vancomycin in Cataract Procedures May Cause Blindness

Vancomycin administered during cataract procedures can sometimes cause blindness, researchers reported here at the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) 2016 Annual Meeting. Final visual acuity was 20/200 or worse in patients who developed hemorrhagic occlusive retinal vasculitis, probably as a hypersensitivity reaction to the antibiotic, said Andre Witkin, MD, from the New England Eye Center at Tufts University in Boston. Although “we think it’s very rare,” he told Medscape Medical News, “in most patients, it caused severe vision loss.” The ASRS and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons formed a joint task force to investigate reports of the syndrome. After the research team searched the literature and contacted retina specialists from across the United States, they identified 35 eyes in 22 patients that met their criteria for hemorrhagic occlusive retinal vasculitis. More at:

Small Device Gives Big Help For Those With Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure is treatable but can lead to several other health risks if its not monitored carefully. There’s a new device called a CardioMEMS that helps doctors and medical staff monitor patients remotely. The first patient in the 4-States to receive the device has had it for one week now. Lewis Brooks from Carthage tells News Talk KZRG about it. “So they thought this device would help monitor this and keep me out of the hospital.” Brooks has already had an adjustment of his medication in the first week of reporting. He’ll continue to be monitored to ensure a hospital visit or stay isn’t necessary. Dr. William Craig Director of Cardiovascular Services at Mercy Hospital Joplin says the first procedure is a success and he’s looking forward to helping many more.More at:

First use of dissolving stent in Washington state

Two patients in Washington recently became the very first to receive dissolving coronary stents, a technological advancement just approved by the FDA. Stents are small scaffolding used to prop open blood vessels that have become blocked. Cardiologists have used them for decades, but up until recently, they’ve used metal stents. Generally metal stents are safe and patients have good experiences, but sometimes people can experience clotting and scarring. “Metal stents are generally safe, they are the gold standard, they work really well, but there are certain circumstances where you can get too much scar tissue in the stents and that can be a problem sometimes,” UW Medicine Regional Heart Center Interventional Cardiologist Dr. James McCabe said. Metal stents cannot be removed, and that’s why doctors knew they had to consider a change. That’s why UW Medicine moved forward with the dissolving stent. More :

Google’s DeepMind expands NHS partnership to improve eye health

 The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is expanding its partnership with Google’s AI unit DeepMind with the aim of improving the detection, treatment, and prevention of eye diseases. Specfically, the DeepMind unit is working with the NHS specialist Moorfields Eye Hospital with the ultimate goal of cutting down the number of patients who suffer from common eye conditions like age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. “We set up DeepMind because we wanted to use AI to help solve some of society’s biggest challenges, and diabetic retinopathy is the fastest growing cause of blindness worldwide,” DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman said in a statement. More at:

‘Harpoon’ device eliminates open heart surgery for mitral valve repairs

A new device may revolutionize the world of mitral valve repair, making it possible for surgeons to fix this particular heart problem without having to perform open heart surgery. According to researchers investigating the device, which is called ‘harpoon,’ it has shown 100-percent performance and safety for this medical purpose. Unlike open heart surgery, using the image-guided contraption is safer for the patient, less physically taxing, and requires much less recovery time. In fact, the researchers estimate someone could leave the hospital the day after a mitral valve repair is performed with Harpoon. More at:

New small titanium dental implant gaining popularity

Tooth decay, gum disease, and injury to the mouth can all lead to the loss of one or more teeth. The standard solution usually involves removable dentures or a fixed bridge. A newer option, dental implants, is also gaining popularity. The implant is a small titanium post that’s surgically placed into the jawbone. In time, bone grows over the implant surface, and provides a base for a porcelain replacement tooth (a crown) that will later be screwed into the implant. The procedure is normally well tolerated. In a few cases you may have swelling or post-operative discomfort, but it’s easily controlled. Usually you will feel back to normal in a few days. More at:

New Cartilage Implant Treats Osteoarthritis of the Big Toe

A novel biomedical polymer implant mimics the physical characteristics of articular cartilage, relieving pain while maintaining joint function. The implant is made of an organic polymer-based biomaterial comprised of 40% polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and saline, the cylindrical synthetic polymer provides cartilage-like compressible, low-friction, and a durable bearing surface. The Cartiva Synthetic Cartilage Implant (SCI) is placed in a single surgical procedure, addressing focal articular defects. Due to the similar osmotic, physical, and frictional properties of Cartiva SCI to native cartilage, joint-resurfacing repairs using this implant does not require replacement of the opposing articular surface. Consequently, the procedure does not require significant removal of healthy tissue, resulting in nominal surgical trauma and rapid recovery. The procedure takes about 35 minutes and, unlike fusion, allows the patient to immediately bear weight. More at:

FDA gives premarket clearance for connected breathalyzer

Soberlink has earned 501(k) premarket clearance from the FDA for its Soberlink Breathalyzer. It means means that healthcare providers can use the device to measure alcohol in breath to aid in monitoring the alcohol consumption of those who have alcohol use disorders. The system includes a cellular device that connects with the Sober Sky Web Portal. A facial recognition function on the cellular device eliminates risk of falsifying tests, and the web-based portal allows users to easily share blood alcohol levels with their care providers.  More at:

Alcon launches Dailies Total1 Multifocal contact lenses, the first and only water gradient lenses designed for people with presbyopia

Basel – Alcon, the global leader in eye care and a division of Novartis, introduces Dailies Total1 Multifocal contact lenses for people with presbyopia. This innovative multifocal lens provides both seamless distant, intermediate and near vision, and the outstanding comfort of the Dailies Total1 water gradient lens technology.Dailies Total1 Multifocal contact lenses use Alcon’s Precision Profile(TM) lens design, a design also included in Alcon’s Air Optix Aqua and Dailies Aqual Comfort Plus multifocal contact lenses.

Presbyopia is an eye condition that is part of natural aging that generally begins after age 40. It is the gradual decline of the eye’s ability to focus on nearby objects, causing them to appear blurry and out of focus. Presbyopia affects nearly 2 billion people worldwide. Many contact lens wearers discontinue the use of contact lenses after age 40 due to dryness, discomfort and visual acuity issues.

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GlucoBeam: a noninvasive glucose monitor progressing fast

Denmark’s RSP Systems has raised a Series A to ramp up the development of its noninvasive glucose monitor for diabetics. Its GlucoBeam is based on RSP’s Critical Depth Raman Spectroscopy technology, which allows for the noninvasive measurement through the skin of the concentration of substances in the interstitial fluid. Specific molecules, such as glucose, affect laser light of a given wavelength in distinct ways. Raman spectroscopy is the analysis of scattered light from a sample and can quantify the molecules in the sample. A noninvasive glucose monitor could lead to better patient compliance: a painless procedure could lead to higher frequency of testing and better glucose management. More at:

BRIDGE: A medical device that could be a breakthrough in Addiction treatment

This device created by Innovative Health Solutions, of Versailles, could be a game changer in helping heroin addicts overcome the withdrawal symptoms after they stop using the drug. It is a non-narcotic medical device that greatly reduces or eliminates withdrawal pain for drug-addicted individuals. The FDA cleared the device for use last December, but that was only for its safety, not its effectiveness which is still being assessed. The BRIDGE isn’t a magic bullet to cure addiction by any means. It is a tool that can be used with other means of drug rehabilitation in helping people overcome addiction and get to recovery, particularly people addicted to heroin or other opioid drugs who fear the days-long process of detoxing, also known as withdrawal. More at:

University of Michigan introduces the world’s smallest pacemaker. Leadless pacemaker gives new option to treat bradycardia, a too slow heart rate

Michigan – A patient at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center has received the world’s smallest pacemaker known as Micra Transcatheter that works without the use of the connecting leads or wires of a conventional pacemaker. Micra is revolutionary not only for its size, which is about the same as a large vitamin, but also because it’s placed inside the heart. Micra inserts through a vein in the patient’s groin and is guided to the heart, leaving no chest scar or visible bump as from conventional pacemakers. The leadless device eliminates potential medical complications arising from a chest incision and from wires running from a conventional pacemaker into the heart. More at:

Sony patents eye gesture contact lens camera

Sony has filed a patent for a “contact lens camera” that would allow the wearer to snap photographs with a deliberate blink of the eye and store them on a wireless smartphone or tablet devices. Images from the camera can also be stored in the lens itself before being transmitted wirelessly. While other tech companies, including Google, have filed patents for “smart contact lenses”, Sony has contrasted itself from its competition by including enhanced features within its patent filing, such as: zoom and image stabilization, with the ability to differentiate between regular blinking and deliberate blinking for capturing images.

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A former employee says Google’s smart contact lens is ‘slideware’ that exists only in PowerPoint presentations

The signature product from Alphabet-owned life sciences company, Verily, is still a long way from hitting the real world. The glucose-sensing smart contact lens that Google first announced in 2014 is still just “slideware” that doesn’t exist outside of PowerPoint presentations, according to a former Verily manager who spoke to Stat’s Charles Piller as part of a critical look at the company’s current endeavors. The contact lens project aims to provide an alternative for people with diabetes who currently have to prick their fingers to test their blood glucose levels. Instead, the lens could monitor the glucose levels in their tears. But the Stat report questions whether the lens will ever be scientifically feasible. Pillar reports that the company’s prototype didn’t work and that previous attempts from other companies to make similar products have all failed for the same reason: tears can’t accurately reflect bodily glucose levels.

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stent-coatingCardiac stent prices dropped but patients charged high: IMS Study

Falling prices of cardiac stents — the wire mesh used to open up clogged arteries —haven’t benefited Indian patients as the overall procedure cost has spiralled over the past three years, a new IMS Health study has found. The report, coming in the backdrop of the government’s move to control prices of stents and other such medical devices, suggests prices of stents declined across private hospitals but rising drug and procedure costs kept the overall angioplasty costs high. Even on stents, it said the margins for hospitals likely increased as they didn’t pass on the entire reduction in prices to patients. Costs of medical devices like stents either remained stable or declined by 6-10% per year in 2011-2014, stated IMS Health’s May 2016 report titled “Medical devices in India: Accessibility, Quality and Pricing—Analysis on Cardiac Stents”. The report was commissioned by AdvaMed — a group of global device makers. At the same time, drug and procedure prices increased 2-7%, it said. In coronary angioplasties done under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) during the same period, the reimbursement limit of drug-eluting stents dropped more than 60% to Rs 24,000, while reimbursement for the procedure increased to Rs 93,000 from Rs 92,000, the report said.

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Noninvasive glucose meter

The GlucoWatch G2 Biographer made by Cygnus Inc. was first and last device approved by FDA. The device did not replace conventional blood glucose monitoring due to some limitations. Sweat must be allowed to dry before measurement can resume. Due to this limitation and others, the product is no longer on the market. (

Continuous glucose monitors

Made up of three parts: disposable sensor placed under the skin, transmitter connected to the sensor, and a reader that displays the readings.  A drawback is that the meters are not as accurate because the read the glucose levels in the Interstitial fluid which lags behind the levels in the blood. ( Dexcom G4 Platinum is one example which is being widely used. This is also approved for 2 year old child. Overall accuracy varies from 13-15% for adults and children. Accuracy over time varies from 11-18%. (

Other examples are:

  • Medtronic Guardian RTis a continuous monitoring system (a small sensor that is inserted under the skin and sends readings every five minutes to a monitor). Cost is $1,339 ($35 additional for the sensor). 
  • Abbott FreeStyle Navigator, which was approved by the FDA in March 2008

Conventional glucose monitors

It is a medical device for determining the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood. They range in price from $20 to $70, but are often given away for free by various health-care providers. Companies can afford to give the monitors away for free because they make their money from the glucose strips, which can be pricey—$1 or more per strip. Some of the commonly used devices are:

  • Accu-Chek Aviva requires 0.6 microliters of blood, renders results in five seconds, and has a memory for 500 previous tests. Cost is $73; $98 for 100 strips.
  • The Ascensia Breeze 2 meter is multisite, requires 2.5 to 3.5 microliters of blood, provides readings in five seconds, can store up to 420 tests, and comes with software. Cost is $33; $90 for 100 strips.
  • The Freestyle Freedom Meter requires the least amount of blood (0.3 microliters), is small, gives results in five seconds, and stores 250 previous tests. Cost is about $28; $97 for 100 strips.

Non-meter test strips

Test strips that changed color and could be read visually, without a meter, have been widely used since the 1980s. Glucoflex-R Blood Glucose rest Strip is widely used on which requires no coding, no batteries, no cleaning, no careful handling, no control solutions. UK government tests show excellent precision and accuracy (R2=0.99) when read in a meter. When read visually by trained patients the correlation with lab has been shown to be R2=0.973. (

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