Thursday, September 17, 2009

Killing Innovation and Reforming Health Care

I just read this morning, that the Health Care proposal coming out of the finance committee; contains a $40 billion dollar tax on the Medical Device industry. So, I dug in deeper. Turns out it is $4 billion dollars a year for the next 10 years, it is on all medical device manufacturers with revenues over $5 million dollars and it is to be based on "relative market share".

Some background, the medical device industry in the U.S. is just less than $100 billion; that means this is a greater than 4% tax on some of the most innovative companies in the United States. Will already having a high barrier to entry through the FDA 510k process and the device registration fees required by the FDA; is this really the smartest tax to apply to our economy--or, as David Auth, a Medical Device inventor and pioneer, states, "Our government rewards dummies and punishes geniuses".

Some references for more context and reference:
New health propsoal is industry's favorite so far. -- AP, Yahoo News
Finance Committee Proposal -- Max Baucus, Senate Finance Committee
Medical Device Pioneer David Auth Seethes Over $40 Billion Industry Tax Idea, FDA Delays

Market Size References [1] and [2] and FDA Annual Device Registration Fee Reference [3] and to even create a device for the market FDA 510k Fee [4] and don't forget the 10's and 100's and of thousands and even millions of dollars to create FDA approved products [5]

Medical Device Manufacturers Association

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fiber Optics in Health Care and Pulse Oximetry

Photonics textiles eyed for pulse oximetry

I have been fascinated by the idea of using fiber optics in Medical Devices for the past couple months. I have a fascination with technology innovations that use Light. So, this blog will likely be diverse in it's discussion of technology, but don't be surprised if there is a bias towards, BioPhotonics. (Yesterday, I did ask a friend of mine who is in med school to contribute to this blog also, so that should bring diversity to this blog also--smile). Even with my Light fascination I haven't yet taken the plunge, committing time, and tried one of the training kits I found a couple months ago.

I stumbled on this today, and it involves Pulse Oximetry (which is close to my heart--figuratively--smile).

The immediate question when I showed someone else, was "how do you clean it?". Interesting, I am wondering, and am fascinated by the potential. I often see nocturnal oximetry studies that the finger probe falls off of the patient. And, for no other reason, than this looks cool and includes fiber optics and pulse oximetry, I hope this succeeds!