• Surgical Robotics and the Biomed

    Despite tightening budgets and controversy over patient safety concerns, sales and use of expensive robotic surgical systems are on the rise. Here's what biomeds need to know about caring for these temperamental…
  • Joint Commission to Simplify Survey Process, Says George Mills

    George Mills announced a number of changes intended to streamline the Joint Commission survey process during his annual AAMI conference update on June 6. The moves are part of an internal plan…
  • Doing the Math on Digital Radiography

    The radiography field has been gradually replacing analog methods of detection in favor of digital technology over the past few decades, but these efforts are being accelerated by the US federal government’s…
  • The Secret Sauce for Innovation? Elbow Grease

    Scott Berkun, author of The Myths of Innovation, counseled AAMI 2016 attendees about the rocky road to innovation in his opening general session, "Debunking the Myths of Innovation." “Discovery is an expensive…
  • On the Record: Quotes from AAMI 2016

    Throughout this year's Conference & Expo, AAMI 2016 speakers were forceful and eloquent. Here are some of the standout comments.
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Cyber-attacks on health care organizations are becoming increasingly more common. Here’s how HTM departments can avoid becoming the next victim.
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In the past two Prep Talk columns, we looked at key management issues you need to be aware of for the certified healthcare technology manager (CHTM) exam, such as how equipment purchasing fits into your organization’s strategic plan. This month’s installment looks at another area of the CHTM exam: accounting.
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Performance Review Institute (PRI) Registrar has recognized Trisonics for meeting the ISO 9001:2008 standard, which specifies requirements for a quality management system. To achieve this certification, an organization must demonstrate an ongoing ability to meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
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Previously, the FDA required all symbols to be accompanied by explanatory text, unless the symbol was used on an in vitro diagnostic device intended for professional use. Under the new rule, no accompanying text is needed for symbols defined by national and international standards development organizations.  
Nihon Kohden has announced a multiyear partnership with the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) to advance its mission of promoting the safe adoption and use of health care technology. Through December 2018, the company will provide financial resources, as well as employee participation in AAMI’s National Coalition for Alarm Management Safety and its National Coalition to Promote Preparation for Utilization of Complex Technology.
Agfa HealthCare has joined forces with 15 health systems, academic medical centers, ambulatory radiology providers, and imaging technology companies in the Watson Health global medical imaging collaborative. The health care IT vendor and its collaborators will focus on using cognitive imaging to care for patients with breast, lung, and other cancers, in addition to heart disease, diabetes, eye health, and heart disease and stroke.
More than 8,500 people recently received free health care offered by Your Best Pathway to Health, a three-day megaclinic in Los Angeles—and the use of Konica Minolta Medical Imaging’s SonImage HS1 ultrasound and AeroDR wireless digital flat-panel detector played a critical role in providing diagnostic exams for more than 6,500 of those patients.
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SonoSim, a global provider of ultrasound education and training, and GE Healthcare are expanding their partnership to include ultrasound training and education for GE Women’s Health and Urology Divisions. The two companies launched training for GE Healthcare’s Point-of-Care Ultrasound division in July 2015.
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Flexiscan, one of two new cryogen-free MRI pre-clinical scanners from MR Solutions, can be operated without specialist knowledge and through the use of predefined settings. The company’s second cryogen-free MRI scanner is Powerscan, which allows physicists to alter the scanner’s hardware, pulse sequences, software, and algorithms for customized pre-clinical imaging research.
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Mayo Clinic and GE’s Global Research Center have introduced a compact 3T MRI. An investigational research device, the compact 3T MRI was developed under a National Institutes of Health Bioengineering Research Partnership, with the expressed goal of focusing on scans of the head, wrists, ankles, and feet. The Mayo Clinic stated that approximately 45% of its clinical MRI volume includes these parts of the body.
Register for the free 24x7 webinar “Can Contracts Help Lower Total Cost of Ownership?” to be held Thursday, July 14, 2016 from 2 PM ET to 3 PM ET (11 AM PT to 12 PM PT). Join 24x7’s editor and an expert speaker in a free webinar—sponsored by Alpha Source—that addresses the total cost of ownership of ultrasound imaging equipment, and compare the costs and benefits of comprehensive service contracts compared to hourly billed service.
It has been 17 years since the Institute of Medicine published the landmark “To Err Is Human.” Among the strategies it recommended to improve safety was implementing voluntary report systems with legally built in confidentiality protections so health care organizations wouldn’t be discouraged from participating. This was hardly a novel idea even then; after all, the Aviation Safety Reporting System has been around since 1976. But what have we really learned since then?
Hospital computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) developer EQ2, LLC, will move its headquarters from Burlington, Vt., to Charlotte, NC, on July 5. The move co-locates EQ2 with parent company AMT Datasouth’s operations center. EQ2 CEO Joe Eichberger says the move will be good for business, enabling EQ2 and AMT Datasouth to share certain facilities and overhead operations.
The Senate passed legislation on June 22 to delay a new round of cuts to rural and non-bid-area suppliers and provide additional fixes to the Medicare competitive bidding program for home medical equipment (HME). The amended version of the legislation (S. 2736) will delay the second cut for HME items in non-bid areas from July 1, 2016, until at least July 1, 2017.
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Healthcare companies, hospitals, and medical clinics have a lot of equipment, infrastructure, and data that needs to be handled in a structured manner. As such, inefficiencies in management not only affect productivity, but also raise the risk of liability. Fortunately, computerized maintenance management systems (CMMSs) offer the complete solution.
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TechVision, Frost & Sullivan’s technology consulting division, has identified key medical devices and imaging technologies expected to make a big splash in the healthcare sector in the next 18 to 24 months. In “2016 Top Technologies in Medical Devices and Imaging,” TechVision reported that innovations in electronics, sensors, information technology, and advanced manufacturing are actively powering product and technology advances in the medical device market.
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When it comes to power management, regular monitoring and maintenance of uninterruptible power systems (UPSs) is critical to ensuring continuous uptime of electrical systems. This is a particularly crucial consideration for UPS batteries, which serve as the backbone of these systems and are also the most vulnerable component. Battery failure is a leading cause of load loss, so knowing how to mitigate risks will help to prolong battery life while also saving you time and troubles down the road.
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The FDA is encouraging medical equipment manufacturers to release information about their devices to patients. Per the FDA’s draft guidance, device manufacturers should share any patient-specific information recorded, stored, processed, retrieved, and/or derived from their equipment, such as pulse oximeters.
Richard Schneider has taken over as chief operating officer of TriMedx, where he will focus on the medical equipment management company’s overall operations, including customer and employee relationships. Schneider brings to the role more than 20 years of experience in operations, strategy, account management, business development, and finance/risk management.
Vicki Hitchins, PhD, a research microbiologist in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the FDA, was killed early June 17 after her car struck a tree in Silver Spring, Md. She was 71. An expert in cytotoxicity testing, Hitchins co-chaired the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation’s Sterilization Standards Committee for nearly two decades and was a member of several other standards committees, including ISO/TC 194, Biological, and clinical evaluation of medical devices.