MPMN_Medical Product Manufacturing News

Medical Product Manufacturing News, March/April 2015

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M E D I C A L P R O D U C T M A N U F A C T U R I N G N E W S Q M E D . C O M / M P M N 4 M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 5 6 Need to Know Here's a wearable unlike any you have ever heard of before: a device that connects to the tongue to stimulate the cranial nerves to help treat traumatic brain injury. 8 BIOMEDevice Boston 2015 Event Coverage MPMN previews the highlights of the event's conference sessions and provides a preview of the product and services that will be featured at the show. 16 Spotlight Motors and Motion Control 19 Special Feature: Robotics Software upgrades make an assembly robot ever-more powerful. 20 Special Feature: 30 Years of Medtech Milestones MPMN has rounded up three decades' worth of advances in the medical device industry. 22 Special Feature: Orthopedics The orthopedic device industry is wrestling with uncertainty thanks to the regulatory ambiguities and the diff culty of managing third-party manufacturing operations. 30 Engineering Insight: Contract Manufacturing Here are f ve outsourcing pitfalls to avoid at all costs. 4 Editor's Column 29 Advertisers Index 19 16 Visit MPMN Online at for such features as: ■ 30 Years of Milestones That Mattered for Medtech milestones-mattered-medtech ■ Superbug Deaths Stoke Reprocessing Fears deaths-stoke-reprocessing-fears ■ The Uberization of Healthcare uberization-healthcare ■ How to Avoid Making a Medical Device Flop avoid-making-medical-device-f op ■ Just Arrived: A Practical Tubing Materials Alternative to PVC arrived-practical-tubing-materials-alternative- pvc ■ The Latest Contract Manufacturer on the Block contract-manufacturer-block ■ TPE's New Edge in Medtech: Supporting Blood Contact edge-medtech-supporting-blood-contact ■ How to Exploit 3-D Printing for Improved Cancer Treatment exploit-3-d-printing-improved-cancer-treatment At Qmed/ MPMN Online, you'll also f nd: ■ Qmed supplier brochures ■ Qmed supplier datasheets ■ White papers Connect with us on LinkedIn and on Twitter at and! IN THIS ISSUE The 30th anniversary of MPMN happens to roughly correspond to the three-decade information and telecommunications revolution said to begin around 1985, according to one interpretation of long wave theory. Popularized by the Russian economist Nikolai Kondratiev, the theory holds that decades of economic progress follow from technological breakthroughs such as was the case with the development of the steam engine, the railway, electrical and chemical engineering, automobiles, and computing technology. In the most recent period, the microprocessor is the single most important technology, making possible everything from personal computers and smartphones, to smart bionic limbs and wireless-enabled medical devices. Perhaps another technology will emerge as a key driver of medical technology in years to come. And medicine could be one of the principal industries to benef t from the next decades-long technological period, which we could be on the cusp of entering now. The Slovak theorist Daniel Smihula refers to the next decades-long phase as the post-informational technological revolution, and expects it to begin between 2015 and 2020. A 2010 Allianz report also forecasted a wave of medical technology innovation playing a central role in the next long-term technological phase, arguing that such periods typically emerge after major f nancial crashes or periods of economic stagnation, and that the Great Recession may be one such example of that. Kondratiev himself believed in a long- term boom–bust cycle, asserting that the Great Depression would not spell the end of capitalism but give rise to a new period of economic success in the West. Stalin apparently disagreed and had the theorist shot by a f ring squad. Whether long-wave theorists are right about the early 21st century giving rise to another technological megacycle, there is a def nite need for a new wave of innovation in healthcare. If Kondratiev's grand vision is true, there is a good chance that much of the prognosticating about the future of medical technology will seem myopic by comparison. It is possible that the innovation made possible by electronics could give rise to other technological f elds that would characterize the next era. Contenders could include f elds like nanotechnology, genomics, biotechnology, or 3-D printing, any of which may ultimately catalyze a wave of long-term medical innovation. Perhaps revolution is a good word to describe the next period of technological evolution in medicine. While there is clearly a need for novel devices that make healthcare more precise and eff cient, any new technology that threatens entrenched medical business models must battle against those who would preserve the status quo. The Next 30 Years 7 EDITOR'S COLUMN ON THE WEB VOLUME 31 NUMBER 2 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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