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The MDT Top 10 from 2013

Fri, 01/03/2014 - 4:05pm
Sean Fenske, Editor-in-Chief

The past year of 2013 was certainly full of news for the healthcare sector as a whole. Obviously Obamacare topped the headlines (seemingly daily) with the media reporting on the latest Congressional battle, digital blunder, cost analysis, website update, model controversies, and any other angle that could be addressed on this hot topic.

In medical technology, remote monitoring/care was a leading theme with devices being released that could address patients’ health needs without requiring them to travel to a hospital or even a doctor’s office. At the same time, the smaller these devices were, the better.

Innovations that utilized the incredibly cool technology of 3D printing started to really emerge in 2013 as well with human body parts (including a functioning human ear) being “manufactured.” Still some time away from practical applications, this technology is extremely promising.

Crowdsourcing was another area of interest in 2013 (and certainly not just for healthcare). This trend makes for a very interesting model to challenge the more traditional one of venture capital investment as far as moving a project forward in development.

But enough pontificating already—on to the list! This list of items from the MDT website drew the most eyeballs in 2013.

#10 - New Method of Measuring Blood Pressure
Speaking of crowdsourcing, a Swiss medtech start-up developed a device resembling a digital wristwatch that enables continuous blood pressure measurements, without the need for pressure-cuff or catheters.

#9 - Measuring Blood Sugar with Light
This non-invasive device allows those with Type 1 or 2 diabetes to measure their blood sugar levels by simply shining an infrared laser light to the top of their skin.

#8 - Camera Crushes Patient; Sparks Recall
When a patient died at a VA Medical Center due to injuries suffered in one of GE Healthcare’s Nuclear Medicine Systems, it certainly drew some attention. The unfortunate incident was caused by loose bolts that were used to support the camera.

#7 - The Tao of Pee
Researchers examined the urination of several animals as inspiration for new ideas involving fluid dynamics. I could say more, but if you missed this story the first time around and you’re not clicking through already, I’m not sure what more I could say to make you do so.

#6 – Implantable Drug Delivery Devices—An Overview
This article from the May print issue incorporates two interesting topics—implantables and drug delivery—both increasing in developing medical devices. That same issue had another interesting implantable drug delivery technology article.

#5 - Copper Kills Antibiotic-Resistant 'Nightmare Bacteria'
With HAIs (healthcare associated infections) of such great concern for hospitals, finding a material that helps battle this issue is certainly going to be of interest.

#4 - Wireless-Enabled Remote Patient Monitoring Solutions
Another article from the print magazine (January/February issue), this feature covered a huge topic in 2013 (as previously mentioned) so it was no surprise to see it get such attention from readers.

#3 - Living Kidneys 3D Printed in China
A video that highlights 3D printing technology used to create living kidneys that could be used for transplant one day? Yeah, I’d watch that too. But I’m still not sure why the 3D printed “bionic” ear didn’t generate enough views to make the list.

#2 - Commentary: Obamacare’s Other Surprise
I’m not surprised that an Obamacare story made the list; I’m pleasantly surprised it wasn’t a negative one. The law has resulted in a spree of healthcare information start-ups that could help improve medical outcomes while lowering costs.

#1 - Sugar Makes Cancer Light-Up in MRI Scanners
The top item involves the fact that tumors consume glucose at a greater rate than normal cells, thereby enabling the detection and imaging of them via MRI scanning. The technique offers a safer and simpler alternative to current methods while also providing greater image detail.

So what’s your opinion on which stories were the top in 2013? What stories are missing from this list? What’s your personal preference for the top story of 2013? Share your thoughts below.

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