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Medical device recalls rise 31% in Q2

Medical Device Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Maia Anderson – Thursday, August 27th, 2020 
Source: Beckers Hospital Review
Feature Photo Source: Unsplash, Owen-Beard

The number of medical device recalls has increased 31.2 percent in the second quarter of 2020, according to Stericycle’s Q2 recall index

The total number of recalls in the second quarter was 341, surpassing 300 for the first time in two years. While the average recall size was lower than the first quarter, the number of recalls  puts the medical device industry on track for 1,200 recalls by the end of the year, which would be an annual increase of 35 percent over 2019. 

The number also doesn’t include unofficial recalls of face masks and other personal protective equipment handled at the state level. 

For the first time in 16 consecutive quarters, safety issues accounted for 48 recalls, or 14.1 percent, of all the recalls in the second quarter, overtaking software issues. But cyberattacks targeting health systems, hospitals and healthcare organizations are still on the rise, and connected medical devices are vulnerable, according to the report. 

Sterilization issues affected the most units, accounting for 62.9 percent of recalled units. 

Out of all of the recalls, 83.3 percent affected products that were distributed nationwide, and 48.4 percent affected products distributed internationally. 

Find the full report here

What do you think of the rise of medical devices in the context of robotics, Ai and cyborgs? What do you think of the rise of the medical devices in the context of the pandemic and commercial space travel? What do you think of the rise of the medical device industry in the context of Elon Musk’s goal of building a city in Mars by 2050? Why?

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‘Cyborg’ technology could enable new diagnostics, merger of humans and AI

Amputee Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Date: August 17, 2020
Source: American Chemical Society
Feature Photo Source: Unsplash, thisisengineering


Summary: Although true ‘cyborgs’ are science fiction, researchers are moving toward integrating electronics with the body. Such devices could monitor tumors or replace damaged tissues. But connecting electronics directly to human tissues in the body is a huge challenge. Today, a team is reporting new coatings for components that could help them more easily fit into this environment.


Although true “cyborgs” — part human, part robotic beings — are science fiction, researchers are taking steps toward integrating electronics with the body. Such devices could monitor for tumor development or stand in for damaged tissues. But connecting electronics directly to human tissues in the body is a huge challenge. Now, a team is reporting new coatings for components that could help them more easily fit into this environment.

The researchers will present their results today at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting & Expo. 

“We got the idea for this project because we were trying to interface rigid, inorganic microelectrodes with the brain, but brains are made out of organic, salty, live materials,” says David Martin, Ph.D., who led the study. “It wasn’t working well, so we thought there must be a better way.”

Traditional microelectronic materials, such as silicon, gold, stainless steel and iridium, cause scarring when implanted. For applications in muscle or brain tissue, electrical signals need to flow for them to operate properly, but scars interrupt this activity. The researchers reasoned that a coating could help.

“We started looking at organic electronic materials like conjugated polymers that were being used in non-biological devices,” says Martin, who is at the University of Delaware. “We found a chemically stable example that was sold commercially as an antistatic coating for electronic displays.” After testing, the researchers found that the polymer had the properties necessary for interfacing hardware and human tissue.

“These conjugated polymers are electrically active, but they are also ionically active,” Martin says. “Counter ions give them the charge they need so when they are in operation, both electrons and ions are moving around.” The polymer, known as poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) or PEDOT, dramatically improved the performance of medical implants by lowering their impedance two to three orders of magnitude, thus increasing signal quality and battery lifetime in patients.

Martin has since determined how to specialize the polymer, putting different functional groups on PEDOT. Adding a carboxylic acid, aldehyde or maleimide substituent to the ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT) monomer gives the researchers the versatility to create polymers with a variety of functions.

“The maleimide is particularly powerful because we can do click chemistry substitutions to make functionalized polymers and biopolymers,” Martin says. Mixing unsubstituted monomer with the maleimide-substituted version results in a material with many locations where the team can attach peptides, antibodies or DNA. “Name your favorite biomolecule, and you can in principle make a PEDOT film that has whatever biofunctional group you might be interested in,” he says.

Most recently, Martin’s group created a PEDOT film with an antibody for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) attached. VEGF stimulates blood vessel growth after injury, and tumors hijack this protein to increase their blood supply. The polymer that the team developed could act as a sensor to detect overexpression of VEGF and thus early stages of disease, among other potential applications.

Other functionalized polymers have neurotransmitters on them, and these films could help sense or treat brain or nervous system disorders. So far, the team has made a polymer with dopamine, which plays a role in addictive behaviors, as well as dopamine-functionalized variants of the EDOT monomer. Martin says these biological-synthetic hybrid materials might someday be useful in merging artificial intelligence with the human brain.

Ultimately, Martin says, his dream is to be able to tailor how these materials deposit on a surface and then to put them in tissue in a living organism. “The ability to do the polymerization in a controlled way inside a living organism would be fascinating.”

What are your thoughts on cyborgs? What are your thoughts on cyborgs within the context of the pandemic? Do you think Elon Musk is correct, we are already cyborgs or do you think scientists can create cyborgs?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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‘If you can’t beat them join them’: Elon Musk says our best hope for competing with AI is becoming better cyborgs

Source: Business Insider
Graham Rapier Aug 29, 2019, 11:08 AM

Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Executive Chairman Jack Ma attend the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai, China, August 29, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song
Source: Business Insider
Tesla Inc CEO Musk and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Executive Chairman Ma attend the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai 
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
  • Elon Musk talked artificial intelligence with Alibaba chairman Jack Ma in Shanghai on Thursday. 
  • Musk doubled down on his previous warnings that AI will overtake human intelligence
  • The Tesla CEO also took the time to mention his latest bet, Neuralink, and its planned brain-computer interface that could let human compete with AI. 

Elon Musk was in China on Thursday, but not to talk Tesla and its new factory in the country.

Instead, the chief executive talked artificial intelligence on stage next to Alibaba founder Jack Ma, and doubled down on his warnings that the technology could pose grave risks to human society as we know it.

“Generally, people underestimate the capability of AI,” Musk said at the conference in Shanghai. “They sort of think it’s like a smart human, but it’s going to be much more than that. It’ll be much smarter than the smartest human.”

Musk’s proposed solution: “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Amid the myriad of Musk’s corporate bets, one of the more recent endeavors is “Neuralink.” Unveiled in a white paper in July, the company hopes to begin testing its computer-brain interface in humans as early as next year. Experts say the technology is impressive, but called the timeline “delusional.”

“We are already a cyborg,” Musk said. “People don’t realize — we are already a cyborg because we are so well integrated with our phones and our computers. The phone is almost like an extension of yourself. If you forget your phone, it’s like a missing limb. But the communication bandwidth to the phone is very low, especially input.”

That’s why humans desperately need to catch up.

What do you think of robots and cyborgs? What do you think the impact of robots and cyborgs will be on society? What do you think of robots and cyborgs in the context of the pandemic?

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Interfacing Humans and Technology – Elon Musk

We are already cyborgs | Elon Musk | Code Conference 2016

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Elon Musk – Cyborgs
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Elon Musk is the CEO of Space X and Tesla Motors. Space X has begun commercial space travel transportation and recently returned a group of Astronauts from space splashing them into the Gulf of Mexico. He is by far one of the people on the cutting edge of space and technology not to mention engineering and other talents. Musk also began many successful and well known companies such as PayPal. As one thinks about medical devices and the concept of cyborgs, one can see how the current science and medical trend of interfacing humans and technology. How do we see this in our everyday lives? How do we see this occurring in our doctors offices? How do we see this in our interactions with technology and technological advances? What if you became too slow to compete with robots or Ai (artificial technology) on a job? Would you interface with technology to become more competitive? What are the health implications of doing so? Share your comments with the community by positing your comments below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.