capable of identifying, reporting, and correcting
blood sugar levels. As with many home health
systems, the data would be documented and
relayed to a smartphone or computer, making
real-time analytics possible.
With the versatility of wireless components
integrated within small devices, the ever-de-
creasing size is resulting in some of the most
minimally invasive devices ever imagined. One
of the most successfully established invention is
the capsule endoscopy. The patient is admin-
istered the pill-sized capsule, which contains
a camera that capures images of the GI tract,
which are sent to a computer via Bluetooth.
The PillCam SB 3 by Given Imaging, for
instance, is capable of capturing two to six
images per second with sensors that detect the
speed of travel, thereby adjusting the amount
of pictures captured.
“The development of capsule endoscopy
was a large step forward in allowing gastroenterologists to see areas that, in the past, were
difficult, if not impossible, to visualize without
more invasive approaches,” says Jason Lau,
Analyst at MRG.
Though there are other companies currently
developing this type of capsule endoscopy,
Given Imaging is ahead of the pack as it is the
first to receive FDA approval. However, the
race is on, as Given Imaging’s main competitor,
Olympus, is currently developing devices with
more advanced image quality. Their recent
trials conducted through Siemens Healthcare
have investigated magnetically-guided capsules,
which can be controlled by the physician via a
type of joystick.
Another category of wireless implantable
devices that are currently under development
and seeking approval is in the orthopedic sector. Proposed designs for orthopedic implants
involve the use of embedded RFID or trans-cutaneous near-field communication (TNFC)
chips. Such chips would provide surgeons
with real-time information on the condition
of the patient, as well as the device’s status.
Wireless components would provide this
important data through a secure transmission
to handheld receivers.
“Such a system could improve the ease of
access to patient information following an
orthopedic implant procedure, potentially
facilitating more complete and efficient recalls
of defective implants, and could assist in
postoperative care,” says Brady Baker, Senior
Analyst at MRG.
Several companies are still in the early
development stages, but Ortho-tag has recently
achieved a patent for their proprietary TNFC
technology. Their biosensors can provide vital
information to surgeons, based on the patient’s
The industry outlook for the wide world of
wireless medicine is expected to continue its
climb in the coming year. Wireless components
have the ability to transform the entire medical
industry by broadening the way patients and
doctors track and practice medicine. Devices
already on the market have proven vastly successful, and products under development will
allow incredible capabilities in environments
never before thought possible.