Monday, March 31, 2014

Humerus Я Us

Mirth Makes for Merry Medicine
By Rick Fromme
Laughing Star 2
Laughing Star 2 (Photo credit: cindy47452)

Many of us are familiar with the axiom, "Laughter Makes the Best Medicine," popularized by "Reader's Digest." Recently, the physiological and psychological affects/benefits of laughter and humor have been monitored and studied. In fact, there's even a scientific name for the discipline: Gelotology. (Not to be mistaken for the quivering, colorful and dubiously flavored substance frequently served in hospitals.)

Laughter "as medicine" per se was first brought to the modern public’s (and medical profession’s) collective awareness by author Norman Cousins in his memoir, "Anatomy of Illness." Suffering from ankylosing spondylitis, a painful spine condition, he described how watching comedies, such as old Marx Brothers' movies, helped him feel better and get some pain-free sleep. It’s not just psychological; researchers have subsequently discovered that laughter helps the pituitary gland release its own pain-suppressing opiates. Laughter has also been found to:
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increase vascular blood flow and oxygenation of the blood
  • Stimulate the diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles
  • Reduce certain stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline
  • Increase the response of tumor- and disease-killing cells such as Gamma-interferon and T-cells
  • Defend against respiratory infections — even reducing the frequency of colds — by immunoglobulon in saliva
  • Increase memory and learning
  • Improve alertness, creativity, and memory
English: synapse.
Synapse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It seems Yo' Mama Nature pre-programmed us towards humor, as its positive effects stimulate
several different physiological processes nearly instantaneously — not just the humerus, or "funny bone." Less than a half-second after we're exposed to something funny, an electrical 
wave moves through our higher brain functions of the cerebral cortex. The left hemisphere analyzes the words and structures of the joke, the right hemisphere “gets” the joke, the visual sensory area of the occipital lobe creates images, the limbic (emotional) system makes us happier, and the motor sections make us smile or laugh.

So enough of my medical monologue. Laughter's legit. Let's have some fun! Below is a hodge-podge of jokes, puns, quotes, videos, limericks and other things that will make you go-go "Ha Ha!" in the night (and day time, too).
Medical Check Up 
Jocular Jokes

A patient was just waking up from anaesthesia after surgery, and his wife was sitting by his side. His eyes fluttered open and , looking at her he exclaimed, "You're beautiful!" then fell asleep again. His wife, not hearing that compliment from him that often, stayed by his side. Several minutes later, his eyes fluttered open and he said, "You're cute!" His wife was disappointed because instead of "beautiful," she was now just "cute." She asked, "What happened to 'beautiful'?" He replied, "The drugs are wearing off."

An old man went to the doctor complaining of a nagging pain in his right leg. “I am afraid it’s just old age,” explained the orthopaedic doc, “there’s nothing we can do about it.” “That can’t be,” fumed the old man, “you don’t know what you’re talking about.” “How can you possibly know I’m wrong?” countered the doctor.  Replied the old man, “My left leg is fine, and it’s exactly the same age!”

The patient, miserable with a sore throat, body aches and fever, asked her doctor, ''Flu?'' The doctor replied, ''No, I drove here in my car."

Two doctors opened an office in a small town. They put up a sign reading: "Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones, Psychiatry and Proctology." The town council wasn’t too happy with the sign, so the doctors changed it to "Hysterias and Posteriors." This wasn’t acceptable either, so in an effort to satisfy the council, they changed the sign to "Schizoids and Hemorrhoids." But no go. Next, they tried "Catatonics and Colonics" Thumbs down again. Then came, "Manic-Depressives and Anal-Retentives.” But is still didn’t pass.   So they tried:
  • "Minds and Behinds"
  • "Analysis and Anal Cysts"
  • "Nuts and Butts"
  • "Freaks and Cheeks"
  • "Loons and Moons"
  • "Lost Souls and Arse Holes"
... Still to no avail. Nearly at their wits' end, the docs finally came up with a title they thought might be accepted by the council: "Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones, Odds and Ends."

Ian spoke frantically into the phone, “Help! My wife is pregnant, and her contractions are only two minutes apart."

"Is this her first child?'" the doctor queried.

"No, you idiot!" Ian shouted. "This is her husband."

 Chortling @ Chart Entries

Puns: Getting Your Words’ Worth

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.

The careless pyromaniac made an ash of himself.

“I have a split personality,” said Tom being Frank.

When I first tried the new cough syrup, I really had no idea what to expectorate.

I once had insomnia so bad I was awake until it dawned on me.

An unusual medical book is one which has no appendix.
Break a bone today and you'll hurt to marrow.

Sometimes a pregnancy is so long it seems like a maternity.

Someone with contact lens problems eventually found a solution.

The survival rate after a fall into a deep hole is abysmal.

He was a Red Cross donor until he went out of circulation.

The Model of a Psychopharmacologist

Quotes to Quack a Quick Laugh

"I become faint and nauseous during even very minor medical procedures, such as making an appointment by phone."— Dave Barry

"I was going to have cosmetic surgery until I noticed that the doctor's office was full of portraits by Picasso."
— Rita Rudner

 "I'm not feeling very well — I need a doctor immediately. Ring the nearest golf course."
— Groucho Marx

 "I told my doctor I broke my leg in two places. He told me to quit going to those places."
— Henny Youngman

"First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me."
— Steve Martin

"I went to the doctor and he told me I had acute appendicitis, so I asked 'Compared to who?'"
— Jay London

"A psychiatrist asks a lot of expensive questions your wife asks for nothing."
— Joey Adams

 According to hospital insurance codes, there are 9 different ways you can be injured by turtles.— Wall Street Journal

Animal Antics

A veterinarian was feeling ill and went to see her doctor. The doctor asked her all the usual questions, about symptoms, how long had they been occurring, etc., when she interrupted him. "Look, I'm a vet — I don't need to ask my patients these kind of questions. I can tell what's wrong with my patients just by looking." She smugly posited, "Why can't you?"

The doctor nodded, stood back, looked her up and down, quickly scribbled out a prescription, handed it to her and said,"Here you go.Take one of these by mouth every morning. Of course, if  that doesn't work, we'll have to have you put to sleep."

Funny Animal Compilation

Magically Delicious: The Lucky Charms o’ Limericks

"An old man from Denver named Lee,
Had a prostate as big as a tree;
Because of his plight,
His sphincter was tight,
And it took him two hours to pee."

"There once was a patient named Silya,
Who asked, 'Can insomnia kill ya'?'
'That depends,' said her doc,
As he glanced at his clock,
'On whether you pay when I bill ya'.'"
— By Howard J. Bennett, MD

"When giving your patients an assist,
Save your back. Avoid doing the twist;
Beg, plead or yelp,
But round up some help.
Keep your name off the casualty list."
— By Betty Ann Cassano, RN, BSN

And of course, I had to quip with my own quill:

"A brilliant new website called MedMasters
Gives health care workers what they're after;
From job boards to networks,
To Groups and more perks,
You can now find a job even faster."
— By Rick Fromme

Last but not least, one of my all-time favorites ...  Bill Cosby's brilliant sketch, "Dentists."

In this article I discussed the health benefits research has discovered about laughter, scientifically known as the study of gelotology. I also shared jokes, puns, quotes, limericks and videos oriented towards the medical profession at-large. If you found it useful or amusing, please click Like and Share. Also, please leave a comment (or even a joke or two) below. Spread the laughter: if you found it funny, please pass it along. After all, a little humor goes a long way.

Rick Fromme combines entrepreneurial enthusiasm with an insider's knowledge of the medical industry to co-found Both his drive and perspective helps provide health care professionals with a superior mechanism with which to communicate, network and market their strengths. Prior to founding, Rick operated a highly successful medical device distributorship. Other milestones in his 12-year career in the medical industry include a key position at a medical device start-up company that was later sold to the Ethicon Endo division of Johnson & Johnson. You may reach Rick by connecting with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

ObamaCare Aware

By Rick Fromme

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...
President Barack Obama's signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As I sit down to research and write this blog, I see that, according to Google’s whimsical holiday-related font, today is the first day of spring. Makes sense; it’s gorgeous here at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The advent of spring means several things are imminent. For one, April; concomitantly, our 2013 tax returns. 
And, for the first time ever, millions of Americans have until March 31st* to sign up for 2014’s open enrollment period for their new “marketplace insurance” as mandated by our nation’s new health care reform.

* On Tuesday, March 25th, the White House announced it was extending the sign up deadline for the ACA for a few more weeks. Fom the "Los Angeles Times":  The Obama administration plans to allow consumers to complete enrollment for health insurance under Obamacare after next week's deadline as long as they declare that they started the process before the end of the month.
Officials said they were making the move now in anticipation of a last-minute rush of consumers seeking health insurance ahead of the March 31 deadline. On Monday, more than 1.1 million people visited, the second-largest traffic day on the site, the White House said.

The new law is officially known as “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) 2010 HR3590,” more commonly referred to as the “Affordable Care Act,” (ACA), as well as both affectionately and contentiously called ObamaCare. It’s made up of the “Affordable Health Care for America Act,” the “Patient Protection Act,” the health care-related sections of the “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act,” and the “Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act.” It also includes amendments to other laws such as the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act and the Health and Public Services Act.

English: Rubik's Cube variants from 2×2×2 all ...
 Rubik's Cube variants from 2×2×2 all the way to 7×7×7. Inspired by Rubik's cube variations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Like many types of over-arching legislation, ACA is long and complex as it attempts to reform America’s multi-sided Rubik’s Cube of a health care system by providing more citizens with affordable quality health  
insurance and by curbing the growth in U.S. health care spending. Ambitious goals, indeed. Reforms include new benefits, rights and protections, rules for insurance companies, taxes, tax breaks, funding, spending, the creation of committees, education, new job creation and more. In many cases, ACA gives power to the ongoing efforts by Health and Human Services and other federal programs seeking to reform health care. So change doesn’t just happen with the ACA. For more information, visit the Health and Human Services site for information on health care reform beyond the ACA.

Simply stated, the ACA attempts to ensure Americans are treated fairly in their right to receive affordable, quality health care, as it strives to make health insurance more affordable to lower and middle income Americans and small business employers. Realistically, no one, even those who crafted and lobbied for ACA, sees it as a panacea, but at least a hopeful step in the right direction.

Condition Critical

Health care reform supporter 4 at town hall me...
Health care reform supporter at town hall meeting in West Hartford, CT, 2009-09-02 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Why do we need health care reform? From directly increasing American’s personal debt and even bankruptcy, to the ever-increasing costs of health care, to rising profits of many health care corporations, the U.S.’ health care system is in trouble. A system designed for profits will always do what it can to consistently earn a profit. And therein lies some of its maladies.

Just four years ago, investigations and reports by such venerated organizations as the “Washington Post,” “Forbes,” “Time,” and others strongly opined that our nation’s health care system was in critical condition. Consider just some of their findings:

  • In 2009, Americans spent approximately $2.8 trillion on health care, and it’s projected we’ll spend $4.5 trillion on health care by 2019.

  • The U.S. spends more on health care than Japan, Germany, France, China, the U.K., Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Australia — combined. Yet unlike many of these other countries, not every American has free or low-cost health insurance.
  • According to a report by Health Care for America Now, America's five biggest for-profit health insurance companies ended 2009 with a combined profit of $12.2 billion. Similarly, the top executives at America’s five largest for-profit health insurance companies had combined salaries topping $200 million. Your ever-increasing costs ensure their profits increase.
  • If the U.S. health care system was a country, it would be the sixth largest economy in the entire world.
  • Back in 1960, an average of $147 was spent per person on health care per year; by 2009, that number had skyrocketed to $8,086.
  • The 2009 study found approximately 62% of all personal bankruptcies in the U.S. were related to medical bills, even though a majority — 78% — had health insurance. These unfortunate citizens were bankrupted due to gaps in coverage like co-payments and deductibles and uncovered services. Others who had private insurance got so sick that they lost their jobs and consequently, their insurance.
  • Price setting for health care services isn’t regulated by government. Prices are set by the private for-profit organizations such as AMA’s Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee.
  • From 1998-2009, the U.S. health care industry had spent more than $5 billion dollars on lobbying our politicians in Washington D.C.
  • The U.S. ambulance industry makes more money a year than the entire movie industry.
  • Nearly half of all Americans use prescription drugs. More than 25 for-profit companies made over a billion dollars in profit from prescription drugs in 2008 alone. In 2013, over $280,000,000,000 was spent on prescription drugs.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture. By staying the course, the prognosis isn’t good.

ACA & Health Care Jobs

What is good, however, is that because the ACA readily offers coverage to certain health conditions and preventative testing that were not part of traditional coverage, certain medical support staff positions will likely become more necessary once the law goes into effect. In fact, the simple implementation of the 
provisions of the ACA within medical facilities and insurance companies will increase the need for support staff. Because more Americans will be insured, many speculate the job growth in most health care sectors will be robust. (See my previous blog, “Health Care Jobs Outlook is Jammin’!”) Considering the current demand for many health care positions, pundits forecast an increased need in certain health care careers once ACA is implemented. Here are some health care jobs that will be positively affected following the implementation of the ACA:

Medical Insurance Processing

Because submitting claims via the guidelines of the ACA will require different methodologies from hospitals, doctor’s offices and other medical facilities, medical insurance claim firms should be adding additional processing staff. In addition, to prepare for the onset of the ACA, additional staff will have to be retained in order to prepare the facility’s systems to be in compliance with the requirements, filing limits, and filing deadlines associated with the new health care plan.

Physical Therapists 

20120309 Physical Therapy Equipment
 Physical Therapy Equipment (Photo credit: kbrookes)
The ACA emphasizes rehabilitative care and offers increased coverage for it. Likewise, there will be a
significant increase in the demand for skilled physical therapists and physical therapy assistants, as well as occupational therapists. Also, with the increased expansion of Americans who have insurance, it’s likely more people will have the ability to receive rehabilitation services that didn’t qualify for them before.

Diagnostic Technicians

In addition to increased rehab care, the ACA provides increased preventative care and diagnostic services — the goal being to catch maladies and diseases in their earlier stages when they’re more treatable. So such procedures as mammograms, PSAs and other screenings will be more accessible to those who didn’t previously have coverage. Consequently, the number of diagnostic technicians across a broad range of specialties (X-ray, ultrasound, laboratory work, etc.) is expected to increase.

Dental Personnel

While the ACA doesn’t increase dental benefits for adults, it does make dental care available for children, hence the increase for dental assistants, hygienists, dental lab technologists and dental billing/administrative personnel will be in demand. Let’s not forget dentists; that profession was the number one fastest growing profession according to “US News and World Report’s” findings (again, see the blog, “Health Care Jobs Outlook is Jammin’!”).

In this article, I gave a brief overview of the new health care legislation, the Affordable Care Act, which is soon going to affect every American. I also mentioned some of the various maladies and symptoms that are adversely affecting our for-profit health care model. Lastly, I listed some of the health care specialties that are expected to continue their upwards growth curve in particular due to the enactment of the ACA. If you’d like to make a relevant comment about this article, please post below. If you found this article informative and helpful please pass it along.

* Resources: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. TIME: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us 8.

Rick Fromme combines entrepreneurial enthusiasm with an insider's knowledge of the medical industry to co-found Both his drive and perspective helps provide health care professionals with a superior mechanism with which to communicate, network and market their strengths. Prior to founding, Rick operated a highly successful medical device distributorship. Other milestones in his 12-year career in the medical industry include a key position at a medical device start-up company that was later sold to the Ethicon Endo division of Johnson & Johnson. You may reach Rick by connecting with him on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn and YouTube.  
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fascinating, Captain! An Ongoing Look at Advances & Innovations in Medical Device Technology

By Rick Fromme

Vulcan (Star Trek)
Mr. Spock  (Star Trek) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ok, I admit it. I’m on a thematic roll. In addition to the newly launched blog series, “A Day in the Life," which profiles various jobs in the health care industry, I’ve thought of another — hopefully engaging — theme, which I’ll revisit periodically in my blogs. I’ve chosen to call this series, “Fascinating, Captain!” a phrase issued by Mister Spock from the famed “Star Trek” media franchise. Spock, as most know, served as science officer and first officer aboard the USS Enterprise. 

The “Fascinating, Captain!” series will highlight and describe new, ingenious technologies and inventions that are making their way into the health care profession across a broad spectrum of specialties. From 3D organ printing, to new surgical tools and implants, to innovative imaging equipment, to advances in nanotechnology, to Google Glass, and much more, these periodic blogs will introduce readers to cutting-edge technologies that are destined to advance health care. Products that will forever change how medicine is practiced and delivered; that is, in citing the infamous phrase from the “Star Trek” monologue: “To boldly go where no man has gone before.” 

Often in our industry, products can be produced that have high expectation and hopes, but sometimes, for a number of reasons, don’t deliver as anticipated in the field. By necessity, our profession needs advances that are going to be true game changers. Obviously, FDA approval is part and parcel of this process. But even more so, similar to peer-reviewed studies in the medical industry, is the legitimate recognition of new technologies undertaken by a broad cross section of industry pundits and specialists.

Since 1998, the mission of the Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA), sponsored by the Medical Design and Diagnostic Industry,
has been to recognize advances in medical product design and engineering that improve the quality of health care delivery and accessibility. The competition is structured to focus attention upon the complexity of development and to also showcase examples of excellence. Each year it recognizes the achievements of medical product manufacturers worldwide and the many people behind the scenes: engineers, scientists, designers, and clinicians who are responsible for conceiving of, inventing, and manufacturing groundbreaking —sometimes life saving — innovations that continually advance the field of health care, which will hopefully help us to “live long and prosper.”

Entries are evaluated by a multidisciplinary panel of jurors comprised of a balance of clinicians, engineers and designers with expertise in health care and design-related fields: clinical practice, medicine, biomedical engineering, industrial design, human factors, manufacturing and other related areas. Winning products must not only pass design and engineering excellence, manufacturing effectiveness and innovation, but also significantly contribute an overall benefit to the medical and health care industries.

You’ll notice that in some categories, only one winner was announced, whereas in others, not all the award levels were garnered by the submitted products.  Furthermore, every year one product above all the others is selected as “Best of Show.” MDEA also sites an individual for its “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Due to lack of space, I’ve only included details and images of the Gold winners in each category. If you’d like more information about the finalists and winners, visit:

Without further adieu, here are last year’s prestigious winners by category:
Critical Care & Emergency Medicine Products 
The Rota-Trach Tracheostomy Tube  Manufactured by Vitaltec Corp. (Taichung City, Taiwan).

Companion 2 Driver System  Manufactured by SynCardia Systems Inc. (Tucson, AZ).

The AccuVein AV400 Vein Illumination System displays a map directly on the skin’s surface to locate veins for such procedures as veins for such procedures as IV starts, blood draw, sclerotherapy, general and cosmetic surgery. The ability to locate peripheral vasculature is invaluable in many medical procedures. Manufactured by AccuVein Inc. (Cold Spring Harbor, NY).   

Courtesy of AccuVein

Dental Instruments, Equipment & Supplies
The Carestream CS 8100 Digital Panoramic System  Manufactured by Carestream Dental (Croissy-Beaubourg, Marne La Vallee, France).

The Zimmer Trabecular Metal Dental Implant  Manufactured by Zimmer Dental Inc. (Carlsbad, CA).

EPIC Total Diode Laser System is a semiconductor diode laser system that facilitates three different types of dental treatments: soft tissue surgical procedures, laser-assisted tooth whitening, and temporary relief of minor pain in the oral/maxillofacial region. It features intelligent design, simpler user controls and ComfortPulse settings for greater patient comfort. Manufactured by BIOLASE Inc. (Irvine, CA).
Courtesy of Epic

Finished Packaging

Lantus & You Journal for Lantus SoloSTAR supports patients with Type 2 diabetes who are new to using the Lantus SoloSTAR insulin injection pen (insulin glargine [rDNA origin]) by offering them an easy,step-by-step guide and a calming experience during their first seven days of treatment. Manufactured by Sanofi (Bridgewater, NJ).
                                                                    Courtesy of Lantus

General Hospital Devices & Therapeutic Products  
The PowerGlide Midline Catheter  Manufactured by Bard Access Systems (Salt Lake City, UT).

The Optiflow Junior Nasal Cannula  Manufactured by Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (Manukau, Auckland, New Zealand).

Dansac NovaLife 1 &2 Ostomy Pouches are a series of open and closed ostomy pouches in a one and two piece version. Its purposed is to collect feces from an ostomy apeture in the abdomen. Manufactured by Dansac A/S (Fredensbork, Denmark).
Courtesy of Dansac

Implant & Tissue Replacement Products

The Orthofix Ankle Compression Nailing System (ACN)  Manufactured by Orthofix Srl. (Bussolengo, Italy).

The Cochlear Nucleus CR120 Intraoperative Remote Assistant  Manufactured by Cochlear Ltd. (Macquarie University, Australia).

Jurors gave the GORE Septal® Helex® Occluder top marks in all five categories — design and engineering innovations, functional innovations, patient benefits, business benefits, and improvement to overall health care. Gore’s Septal Occluder is a permanently implanted cardiac prosthesis delivered via transcatheter approach. The implant prevents shunting of the blood between the right and left atria in the treatment of congenital heart defects of the atrial septum and for closure of a flap valve in the atrial septum that is thought to be a risk factor for stroke. Manufactured by W.L Gore & Associates Inc. (Flagstaff, AZ).

Courtesy of W.L.Gore & Associates

In Vitro Diagnostics
Irys Genomics Platform  Manufactured by BioNano Genomics (San Diego, CA).

The EDGE Platform  Manufactured by HTG Molecular Diagnostics Inc. (Tucson, AZ).

 Over the Counter & Self-Care Products
Masimo’s iSpO2 Pulse Oximeter and the iSpo2 App  Manufactured by Masimo Corp. (Irvine, CA).

The SpeediCath Compact Set  Manufactured by Coloplast A/S (Humlebæk, Denmark).

The new Enlite Glucose Sensor insertion device (not yet approved in the USA) is used by people with diabetes who use the Paradigm Veo insulin pump with built-in continuous glucose monitoring. It’s used to insert the glucose sensor beneath the skin. More comfortable and accurate than ever before, the new sensor gives better protection from dangerous highs and lows. Manufactured by Medtronic Minimed (Northridge, CA).
  Courtesy of Enlite

Radiological & Electromechanical Devices
The Avedro KXL System for Accelerated Corneal Crosslinking  Manufactured by Avedro (Waltham, MA).

Liposonix Custom Contouring  Manufactured by Solta Medical (Hayward, CA).

Acessa System is a minimally invasive, outpatient therapy for treating fibroids using radio frequency volumetric thermal ablation. Each fibroid is destroyed by applying energy through a small needle array. Acessa allows surgeons to treat only the fibroids, while preserving normal function of the uterus. It provides the surgeon continuous monitoring and real-time temperature control. Manufactured by Halt Medical Inc. (Brentwood, CA).
Courtesy of Halt Medical Inc.

Rehabilitation & Assistive Technology Products
The t:slim Insulin Pump  Manufactured by Tandem Diabetes Care Inc. (San Diego).

mySentry Remote Glucose Monitor  Manufactured by Medtronic Diabetes (Northridge, CA).

The Rifton TRAM Transfer and Mobility Device is designed for the safety, convenience and dignity of both patient and caregiver. Offering more utility for less cost, the TRAM seamlessly performs seated transfers and raises a patient for standing and supported ambulation. More than a patient lift system, the Rifton TRAM combines three powerful functions in one device: gait training, sit-to-stand transfers, and seated transfers. Manufactured by Rifton Equipment (Rifton, NY).
Courtesy of Rifton Equipment

Surgical Equipment, Instruments & Supplies
The McCarus-Volker FORNISEE Lighted Manipulator System  Manufactured by LSI SOLUTIONS (Victor, NY).

The NeoChord DS1000 Chordae Replacement System  Manufactured by NeoChord Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN).

Sonicision Cordless Ultrasonic Dissection System is the medical industy’s first ultrasonic dissection device, indicated for soft-tissue incision and hemostasis in a variety of surgical procedures, including bariatric, colorectal, gynecological and urological. Giving surgeons complete freedom of movement in the OR, it is handheld, pistol-grip style, and battery-powered. Manufactured by Covidien (Boulder, CO).
Courtesy of Sonicision

Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Langer's contributions include advancements in the fields of drug delivery, tissue engineering, nanotechnology, and personalized medicine. One of Langer’s early contributions in drug delivery involved changing the structure of biocompatible polymers to deliver molecules of nearly any size or charge. He also helped pioneer the use of 3D polymer scaffolds to create new tissues and organs, and helped create long-circulating nanoparticles that can target specific cells in the body, remote-controlled drug-delivery microchips, and smart polymers that can change shape when exposed to temperature or light. Langer has more than 800 pending and issued patents, which have been licensed to hundreds of companies, including medical device makers. He has also helped launch at least 27 companies based on his inventions. The most cited engineer ever, Langer has written more than 1200 articles and has received 20 honorary degrees from institutions of higher learning around the world. He served as chairman of FDA’s highest advisory board and was the youngest person ever elected to all three U.S. National Academies. Langer has been honored with more than 220 major awards, including the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
Courtesy of MIT

As they say in the movie biz, “That's a wrap!”

Looking ahead, on April 2, the 2014 MDEA finalists will be announced in “MD+DI” magazine ( in advance of the June 10-12, 2014 Medical Design and Manufacturing East (MD&M East Event; in New York, which will feature the finalists and winning products from this year’s competition.

I’ll continue to keep you posted about this and other medical industry device products and key events in our “Fascinating Captain!” blog throughout the year. 

In this blog, I talked about the importance of having interdisciplinary recognition of newly created medical devices to ensure long-term success in the field. To that end, the preëminent Medical Design Engineering Awards enlists experts in the fields of clinical practice, medicine, biomedical engineering, industrial design, human factors, manufacturing and other related areas, to review hundreds of entries, and then chooses three winners in specific categories. (Note: In 2014, MDEA will add two new categories: Drug-Delivery Devices and Combination Products; and Medical Product Packaging, Graphic Instructions, and Labeling Systems). The international awards ceremony thus helps guarantee the practical application and long-term success of innovative products created worldwide in the ever-advancing and fascinating world of medical device technology. 
Star Trek: Starship Creator
Star Trek: Starship Creator (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rick Fromme combines entrepreneurial enthusiasm with an insider's knowledge of the medical industry to co-found Both his drive and perspective helps provide health care professionals with a superior mechanism with which to communicate, network and market their strengths. Prior to founding, Rick operated a highly successful medical device distributorship. Other milestones in his 12-year career in the medical industry include a key position at a medical device start-up company that was later sold to the Ethicon Endo division of Johnson & Johnson. You may reach Rick by connecting with him on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn and YouTube.  
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