Archive for September, 2012

New laser microscope could revolutionise cancer diagnosis

Friday, September 28th, 2012

A new kind of microscope with the potential to cut cancer diagnosis times could go into commercial production.

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Daylight Solutions, which pioneered the quantum cascade laser (QCL), $420,000 to investigate how the new laser could be commercialised. Experts say that the device could mean cancer diagnosis results may be available in minutes rather than days.

The latest funding is the second phase in the research programme. The first phase has been completed and, according to, its aim was to “demonstrate that broadly tunable infrared microscope based on QCL sources and microbolometer detectors was feasible”.

Daylight Solutions will develop a commercial prototype over the next two years, in preparation for a production scale-up. The NSF has described the device as a potential ‘game changer’.

An NSF abstract states, “The QCL microscope to be built in Phase II will revolutionise infrared microscopy instrumentation.”

It adds, “Based on demonstrated performance of components in Phase I, it is estimated that the time to screen a tissue array for signs of cancer will be reduced from six days with a FTIR microscope to just three minutes with a QCL microscope.”

New app aims to make medical sales jobs easier

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Those working in the medical sales industry could find that a new app helps to make their job that bit easier.

The 3D Techniq, which has been developed by EnHatch, part of health care accelerator BluePrint Health, promises to aid medical sales reps during client pitches.

The app uses 3D simulation to allow the medical sales professional to demonstrate exactly how a medical device works during surgery. It provides easy to follow, extremely detailed, step-by-step 3D video footage, and can be quickly downloaded by the medical professional.

The app also enables surgeons and other medical professionals to interact with each other and the sales rep.

President & CEO of EnHatch, Peter Verrillo told Med City News, “It seems that the way we are engaging the surgeon goes beyond the 3D … Inside the app you can invite a clinician – nurse, physician assistant – hospital administrator.”

Perhaps the key element in terms of medical sales reps is the ability to see exactly how surgeons are interacting with the app, Verrillo added.

“Imagine that I am looking over your shoulder as you are using the app. I can see what you are zooming in, what you are scrolling through. If I understand that there is one part of the video that a surgeon is watching over and over and over, I am going to come to you the next day and say ‘Doc are you having problems with the surgery,’” he went on to say.

‘Snake’ operating device showcased at cancer conference

Friday, September 21st, 2012

A Bristol-based medical engineering company has demonstrated a ‘mechanical snake’ that will allow doctors to look and ‘feel’ inside patients bodies without having to carry out invasive surgery.

OC Robotics showcased its snake robot at the International Conference on Oncological Engineering at the University of Leeds this week. The device is still only a prototype and has only been used in laboratories so far, but the company is confident that, once ready and approved, it could help find and remove tumours in cancer patients with only a tiny incision needed.

Speaking at the conference, Safia Danovi, from Cancer Research UK, said that the devices on display at the conference would play important roles in the future fight against cancer.

“Surgery is a cornerstone treatment for cancer so new technologies making it even more precise and effective are crucial,” she explained. “Thanks to research, innovations such as keyhole surgery and robotics are transforming the treatment landscape for cancer patients and this trend needs to continue.”

OC Robotics’ Rob Buckingham said that a key area of research that they are now looking into for the ‘snake’ is making it work with other technology, such as sensors that can identify and hone in on target objects such as tumours.

Johnson & Johnson to open London innovation centre

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is establishing four new innovation centres in four of the top biotechnology locations in the world, to try to hunt out new relationships and investment opportunities in medical devices and diagnostics.

The company is setting up one of the bases in London, with three others in California, Boston and China. It is hoping that each of the centres will have local deal-making capabilities and will further the conglomerate’s chances of becoming a “partner of choice” for smaller biotech companies.

Global pharmaceuticals head for J&J, Paul Stoffels, said that it was a priority of theirs to have people on the ground in medical technology centres and in dedicated scientific sales jobs in the bioscience hubs.

“We want to get better at interacting with the outside world and we are going to do it in a different way, closer to where the innovation is happening,” Stoffels said in a telephone interview,” he explained. “We want to get a significantly higher number of external opportunities, which we can identify and bring into the company.”

J&J already has an impressive track record of reaching beyond its own operations to track down innovations, with 50 per cent of its products resulting from external collaborations.

New telehealth system could be introduced in Manchester

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Patients in Greater Manchester could be set to benefit from a medical sales deal that may see the introduction of a life-saving remote monitoring system that will allow them to have their conditions monitored via text message.

The system – named by its developers, Mediaburst, as ‘Florence’ – is already being used by a number of healthcare trusts in the Midlands, but it is understood that talks are underway to see about bringing it into use in the Manchester healthcare system.

Florence allows patients with conditions including heart disease and diabetes to text information they have monitored themselves to a central computer at their healthcare provider, and receive instant feedback on whether their readings are fine or whether action needs to be taken.

It is understood that the system has proven so successful in its use in the Midlands that the people in Mediaburst’s medical sales jobs are already speaking to potential buyers in the US, Germany and Singapore.

The managing director of Mediaburst, Gary Bury, said that other telehealth systems largely require patients to be tied to their homes, so that information can be relayed from expensive equipment via patients’ landlines.

“Florence gives patients their freedom back,” he said. “Innovative [Primary Care Trusts] are already using it and we anticipate that an evaluation currently being done by Warwick University will give it the stamp of approval and speed up its adoption across the UK.”

Oxford Instruments reports sales in line with two-year plan

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Oxford Instruments, a leading provider of medical, hospital and scientific research equipment, has announced that its current progress is in line with its predictions for the current financial year.

In a statement issued on the progress, Oxford’s chairman, Nigel Keen, said that they were succeeding in adhering to a carefully-planned 14 cubed objective to manage compound annual revenue growth rate of 14 per cent and a return on sales of 14 per cent by March 2014.

He explained that 2012 was the first year that the plan has been in place, and organic growth and efficiency improvements have helped it to so far get off to a flying start.

“The year to March 2012 was the first year of the 14 Cubed plan and we reported sales growth of 29 per cent split equally between organic growth and the three bolt-on acquisitions we made to strengthen our competitive position,” he explained. “Return on sales also improved in line with our targets, increasing from 10.7 per cent to 12.5 per cent.”

Keen added that the Nanotechnology Tools business had made particularly good progress and that the launch of the new X-MET 7500 hand held material analyser has helped to grow their market share.

Medical sales jobs on the up in Tennessee thanks to funding boost

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Following a new round of funding, medical companies across Tennessee could soon be expanding rapidly, opening up numerous new medical sales jobs.

Each of the start-up companies is part of the newly completed Zero to 510 Medical Device Accelerator programme, which has been rolled out to assist new firms in applying for the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) 510(k) pre-market notification process. This process is key to getting medical products to market.

The companies receiving funding assistance include Eco Surg, which has designed a sustainable alternative to the current foam positioners used to position patients whilst surgery is carried out.

Another of the companies, BioNanovations, is attempting to take a bionanotechnology device to market, which will allow for speedy diagnosis of bacterial infections.

Zero to 510 advisor Jan Bouten told The Memphis Business Journal that the funding would allow Memphis to become a hub of medical device and medical sales jobs within the sector.

“We expect each of the companies receiving the additional £62,800 investment to use that money to further prove a concept or reach a level where they are ready to really begin building a business,” Bouten went on to say.

Medical sales jobs seen as top career choice

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Medical sales jobs are proving to be one of the most popular career choices for young apprentices.

According to young people working towards a sales and marketing apprenticeship through Competitive Edge, a job in medical sales is seen as an extremely solid career move.

A job within the medical sales industry was termed a ‘safer bet’ in the fluctuating economic environment by apprentices based at Tamar Science Park in Derriford, Plymouth.

Thornbury-based Ben Wilson, 22, who is currently employed by technology firm Squirrel Medical, based at Tamar Science Park, told This is Plymouth, “I’ve been trying to get into sales and marketing for two or three years, but I needed experience.

“I previously worked in the motor trade, I did door-to-door canvassing, and supermarket jobs, but this has gone really well, and I’m now building relationships with clients,” Mr Wilson went on to say.

Squirrel Medical provides cost-effective pressure relieving equipment such as mattresses and cushions to providers based within the primary care sector.

In 1999, Squirrel Medical was announced as the sole supplier on the NHS agreement to specialise in mattresses and seating designed to relieve pressure for patients.