Nobody likes to stay in the hospital. Not adults. Not kids. But it is so wonderful to learn that the Boston Children’s Hospital has added some fun to the otherwise dreadful experiences. Disguised as a Cho Cho train, a robot cart would deliver meals and medicines to various patients in the hospital. They are also very polite. When they detect the busy nurses running around the hallway, they would stop and let them pass first. These trains are the brain child of Aethon.

Physical rehabilitation can be fun and games. A recent joint research project between USC and UCLA (yes, they actually cooperated together!) demonstrated a software game called “Jewel Fetching. The patient would move both the arm and the fingers in a three dimensional fashion to fetch the jewel appearing on the display monitor. Once the jewel was fetched, the display would sound with shining light. This positive feedback encouraged the patient to continue to play. I like to call it the “magic glove”. I hope to keep track of the development of the project. Wish them great success.


On the device side, we saw new innovations solving big problem. Belgium based Imec demonstrated in the recent Wireless Health Conference 2011 a new ECG patch which allows clinicians to remotely monitor the ECK rhythm of a patient almost 24 hours a day. It is magic! No longer are the patients required to stay in the hospital “for observation”. This is done 24/7 – only remotely. The hope and dream I have is that the bright developers will work tirelessly to come up with brilliant medical device ideas to solve big problems.

The panel discussion from the recent INNOVATE CALIFORNIA – A symposium on medical innovation encouraged the community to work together to preserve our leadership in the biomedical segment in the world. There was a tradeoff between risk and safety. One can test a product/drug for a long time to increase its safety margin but might lose the advantage that product/drug may bring to the community. There may be a need to start a dialog about risk management and tradeoffs in the medical community.



2012 is now upon us. MEDS will work with our medical electronic community (Continua, AAMI, MD PnP, FDA, IEC, Sterling Smartware and many others) to continue to search for solutions. We learn from our community that they need good information to solve problems. Here are the four areas MEDS will focus on in 2012. Additionally, we will have four MEDS events. Join us in search of great MEDS solutions.


  • Great Medical Electronic Device design help
  • Safety and FDA compliance
  • Medical Electronics Innovation
  • Product reliability and Quality of Service (QoS)


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