Cartilage paste, devices, commerce and optimism

In the healthcare arena, I keep finding it amazing how so many technologies that are different in so many ways are changing the definitions of what constitutes a medical device. I came across this article on cartilage paste in March issue of Arthroscopy: Journal of Arthroscopy–Related Surgery. Now, while this is not a new technology, it does represent the kind of marriage of technologies that happens frequently these days in the medical field. I then came across details of a Tallmadge, OH, company called Oringen, which has licensed a technology (from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Kent State University) to be developed into a liquid crystal sensor for detection of bacteria and viruses (Pathogen Detection Systems of Boulder, Colorado, has also licensed the technology).I am not an obligatory cheerleader for technology, because I really do believe that in the U.S. we have spent far too much on healthcare without it producing the intended or necessary improvements in quality of life. Too frequently, “innovations” have just resulted in higher premiums for us all. However, when you consider the steady progression of materials technologies, nanotechnologies, cell/tissue engineering technologies, the development of drug/device hybrids and other technologies, it becomes difficult to imagine a clinical problem that isn’t destined to be solved by medical technology. This may be wildly optimistic and ignore the lessons of history, but this sense of optimism is the driving force (that, and its associated commercial success!) behind the great diversity of medical technologies being pursued in different applications.

Leave a Reply