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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Medical Devices (Part 3)






Medical Devices




Angioplasty Balloon Catheter (1980)





 
In the 1970s, German cardiologist Andreas Gruentzig pioneered coronary angioplasty with the development of the double-lumen dilation catheter that used an inflatable balloon. The angioplasty balloon catheter, used for percutaneous coronary intervention, has both saved and improved the lives of patients. Before it hit the market in 1980, vessel bypass surgery was the most viable way to repair blocked vessels but carried more risks, pain, and cost. In addition to relieving chest pain and helping to prevent heart attacks, the device's significant potential has pulled dozens of medical device companies into the catheter space.









Personal Glucose Meter (1980)








The first portable glucose meter was approved in 1969, but improvements to the technology cannot be emphasized enough. One of the most significant steps in the treatment of diabetes was moving the glucose testing from the hospital to the home. The first personal glucose meter was developed by Miles Laboratories Inc. (later purchased by Bayer). Since the early 1980s, these home-use devices have experienced steady improvements. For example, portable glucose meters with memory have become critical to diabetes care, because they enable diabetics to keep a record and observe trends and patterns. Event markers, digital user interfaces, and no-coding technology have also advanced the treatment standard. The modern meter, such as the True2go glucose meter shown here, can weigh less than an ounce.









Pulse Oximeter (1981)

 



 The first pulse oximeter was introduced in the United States in 1981. Rather than drawing blood, the device provided a noninvasive way to measure a patient's oxygen saturation level via wavelength measurements. In the 1980s, manufacturers of pulse oximeters introduced much smaller technology that was less expensive and easier to use. The Nellcor Pulse Oximeter (pictured) has evolved from its beginnings 25 years ago into a range of different products, from handheld devices that conduct spot check measurements to compact monitors that use nonadhesive specialty sensors for patients with fragile skin.




Laryngeal Mask Airway (1981)




In 1981, anesthesiologist Archie Brain invented the Laryngeal Mask Airway (LMA), a device that establishes an unobstructed airway in unconscious patients or patients under anesthesia. Brain was looking for a device that could replace endotracheal intubation, a procedure that can cause trauma or unwanted reflux responses in patients. Since Brain's LMA was first used in a hospital in 1988, it has become a staple in operating rooms and ambulances. Many versions of the device exist today including the AuraOnce Disposable Laryngeal Mask (pictured above), which comes in a variety of sizes to fit a range of patients. LMAs have been used in millions of procedures. 









Automated External Defibrillator (1985)     

  




The automated external defibrillator (AED) has been instrumental in saving lives since it was first developed in 1985. Studies have shown that early defibrillation with an AED can dramatically increase survival rates up to 70%. The device, which uses electricity to stop cardiac arrhythmia and help the heart reestablish a solid rhythm, has become so valuable that CPR training courses often include a segment on their use. These days, AEDs are ubiquitous: commercial aircrafts as well as police, fire, and EMT vehicles usually carry them. FDA approved the first home-use AED in 2004.







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