Greatest medical devices of all time… since now

The hard-working health care professionals we have today get a lot of help from amazing medical devices. The doctors, nurses and others from more than a century ago — and especially those from more than two centuries ago — would be amazed at the things that we can do in health care today. No matter your health care specialty, you have probably benefited from medical innovations.

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Credit: QMED

Recently Qmed surveyed its audience about their thoughts on what are the most important medical devices ever developed. At the top it was the hypodermic syringe. Along with the myriad of substances for which they are the prime, if not the only, delivery vehicle, have probably been responsible for saving more lives and alleviating more suffering than any other piece of medical technology. Completed the list the pacemaker, the eyeglasses, the X-ray machine, the MRI, the stethoscope, the band-aid, the catheter, the CT Scanner, the cochlear implant, the intraocular lenses and the heart valves.

Innovation within the medical device industry had led to tremendous advances in the provision of care for patients worldwide. But it is a process that needs to continue.

Our mission in Design Health Barcelona (d·HEALTH Barcelona) program is to train the next generation of healthcare innovators, the ones that will invent and implement the new biomedical products, through the biodesign process, a systematic approach based on unmet needs finding to later increase our ability to diagnose and treat conditions.

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d·HEALTH Barcelona 2013-2014 fellows

We are currently seeking the fellows for d·HEALTH Barcelona 2014-2015. Worldwide youngsters with interest in the development of medical technologies and with advanced degrees in engineering, design, business or life sciences are encouraged to apply before May 11, 2014.

We offer the fellows a once-in-a-life-time experience, first hand access to real-world experts from the medical technology, legal and venture capital sectors worldwide and a fun learning/working environment while they join an emerging field.

d·HEALTH Barcelona 2013-2014 fellows are currently prototyping their innovations. Will one of them join, in the future, the list of greatest medical devices ever? Or will be yours, future fellow reading this post? Only time will tell. Meantime, if you want to get more info about the application process or, even better, apply and become a member of our red polo shirts team, click here.

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In search of medical excellence

At d·HEALTH we feel truly blessed that great educators from all over the map find their way to Barcelona. One such teacher is Mark Bruzzi.

He is an entrepreneur and lecturer at National University of Ireland in Galway, and the Director of the BioInnovate Ireland medical device innovation training program. Modeled also on Stanford Biodesign Fellowship, its’goal is to foster entrepreneurship in healthcare and create value to the Irish economy. And it is in the correct way according to recent news.

Last week Enterprise Ireland, ACT Capital in Dublin, signed a €11.7m collaboration with the prestigious US-based Mayo Clinic for the co-development and licensing of 20 novel medical technologies over the next 5 years with the aim of creating several high value medical technology spin-out companies. The agreement involves further development and validation of the technologies patented at Mayo Clinic by research teams in Irish Higher Education Institutes and introductions to investors to bring the technologies to market.

The first project under this agreement will be lead by d·HEALTH Faculty member Mark Bruzzi. It is a device for the treatment of acute pancreatitis, an increasingly prevalent condition worldwide with substantial hospitalization costs, but with no widely accepted therapies or practices for proactive management of the disease. Associated healthcare costs are estimated at €3 billion in the US alone. Bruzzi’s team at NUI Galway aims to design and develop a prototype device for human clinical use, build on animal studies conducted thus far and advance the therapeutic technology towards a “first in man” clinical investigation.

This is great news for medtech innovation and we feel really happy for Mark! CONGRATULATIONS! Below it is a video-interview we filmed with Dr. Bruzzi when he visited us last year.

Findings needs to improve healthcare

There’s a quiet revolution going on in the field of medical device innovation across the world led by people who are creating affordable and elegantly designed devices that add value to existing medical processes and make them simpler, cheaper and more accessible.

To create those products, these change-makers first have to identify unmet medical needs within a clinical setting and then develop new business opportunities.

The 2013-2014 d·HEALTH fellow teams have ended their clinical immersion experience in neonatology, neuro-rehabilitation and arrhythmias. During two months of intensive observation on medical procedures and routines, each team has compiled a list of over 300 needs and currently they are in the process of narrowing these large lists down into the top needs to take forward into brainstorming and invention.

This video resumes how was their clinical immersion experience at three top hospitals in Barcelona.

Neonatology Team includes: Arnau Valls, Marc Rabaza, Susan Feitoza and Mattia Bosio

Neuro-rehabilitation Team includes: Markus Wilhelms, Immaculada Herrero, Àngel Calzada and Marc Benet

Arrhythmias Team includes: Lalis Fontcuberta, Mateu Pla, Roger Benet and Alfred Ramírez

Biodesign: show, don´t tell

Biodesign is a hothouse for medical devices. Since the methodology was founded at Stanford University back in 2001, several companies that bear the fingerprints of Biodesign fellows have entered healthcare market.

One of the latest is San Francisco-based iRhythm Technologies. It traces its founding to the Biodesign class of 2006. This company, cerated by fellow Uday Kumar, has developed the ZIO patch, a wireless adhesive heart monitor patch to help diagnose irregular heartbeats, known as arrhythmias. It has already treated over 10000 patients.

Recently, a study from the Scripps Translational Science Institute, published in the American Journal of Medicine, has shown that iRhythm’s ZIO patch detects more arrhythmia events than a traditional Holter monitor and provides a better experience for patients.

Biodesign students, like our fellows, don´t accomplish success after listening to a bunch of lectures from talkers. The secret sauce of the program is the community: the venture capitalists, the clinicians, the entrepreneurs… who come in to offer their specific expertise to help the fellows navigate the risky path of commercialization of new medical devices.

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Source: iRythm Technologies

 

A comparison of the MedTech markets in Europe, Latin America and the US

With a forecasted growth rate of 4.5 percent each year between 2012 and 2018, the medical device and diagnostics sales will be as high as $ 455 billion by 2018 according to the report EvaluateMedTech World Preview 2013, Outlook to 2018 published by the market intelligence company Evaluate. In-vitro diagnostics is expected to be the largest medtech segment in 2018, with sales of $58.8 billion, followed by cardiology ($48.7 billion) and diagnostic imaging ($45.1 billion).

We have selected three infograhics that resume medtech market situation in Europe, Latin America and the US. The situation is different depending on the region. The European Union has a positive outlook for the medtech market. So does Latin America, where the medical device market is worth $10.5 billion and still growing. In the US, changing regulations for medical devices will inhibit growth, but revenue will remain stable. By 2016 the medical device market is projected to reach $134 billion. A significant contribution to this will be the U.S. Orthopedic market, which is was estimated at roughly $15.5 billion in 2011, equal to 14.6% of the total market.

You can see full infographics here (Europe), here (LatAm) and here (US).

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