Medical Device Daily European Editor and Staff Reports

Hardware, software and sensors for a device platform to measure and predict personal blood glucose levels has been delivered by Toumaz Technology (Abingdon, UK) to complete the first phase of a large-scale European Union (EU) project for diabetes patients.

Toumaz is responsible for the device work package that is part of the EU's DIAdvisor project developing a prediction-based tool using historic and current blood glucose measures to optimise the therapy of Type I and developed Type II diabetes with the goal of minimizing the occurrence of diabetic complications and reducing healthcare costs.

DIAdvisor is being developed by a consortium of 13 companies coordinated by Novo Nordisk (Bagsv rd, Denmark), a leader in diabetes care, that includes the European Division of the International Diabetes Federation.

DIAdvisor received €7.1 million ($9.5 million) under the EU's Framework Seven Program in April, 2008.

The Toumaz device platform integrates a non-intrusive body-worn wireless vital sign sensor from Sensor Technology and Devices (Belfast, UK) and a non invasive glucose sensor from Ondaly (Montpellier, France).

Data collected from the sensors is processed onboard the body-worn device with the Toumaz Sensium chip and transmitted using Toumaz ultra-low power Advanced Mixed Signal (AMx) technology that continuously sends and receives data packets using batteries that can be as small as a slip of paper and not larger than a hearing aid battery (Medical Device Daily, Nov. 2, 2007).

Cardinal Health (Dublin, Ohio) and Texas Instruments (TI; Dallas) have licensed the Toumaz technology to develop intelligent medical devices (MDD, March 28, 2008).

Data sent from an individual monitor in the DIAdvisor project will be processed with software developed by RomSoft (Iasi, Romania) using models developed at Lunds University (Lund, Sweden) and algorithms developed at Johannes Kepler University (Linz, Austria).

The DIAdvisor device will allow patients to actively and accurately predict short-term blood glucose at any moment automating an analysis of glucose measurements, insulin delivery data and specific patient parameters.

Prediction data will be wirelessly transmitted to a designated healthcare provider which in turn will transmit recommended action and treatment advice for display on a patient's handheld mobile device.

New Swedish arrhythmia center

Arrhythmia Center Stockholm reported performing the first treatment of atrial fibrillation in a new facility at Södersjukhuset in Stockholm. Arrhythmia Center Stockholm is a private initiative that has been started as part of the collaboration between Global Health Partner and Södersjukhuset.

The partners said this venture "increases the opportunities for meeting a growing need for care from a patient group that today greatly suffers from long waiting times within hospital care."

Arrhythmia Center Stockholm is a new center for the treatment of patients with arrhythmia disturbances. The facility is run in close collaboration with Södersjukhuset's own cardiology department. "We at Södersjukhuset are pleased about this opportunity for collaboration. We look forward to working together both with regard to patients and research and development," says Anna Nergårdh, head of the cardiology department at Södersjukhuset.

This is the first clinic in Sweden to use magnetic navigation from U.S. firm Stereotaxis (St. Louis) to perform ablation treatment. The technology gives greater precision during the intervention, less risk of complications and a reduction in X-ray exposure.

"The robotic technology is a big step forward in the treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation," said Associate Professor Anders Englund,

The new clinic will be able to perform 400 treatments per year and will take both publicly and privately financed patients from all of Sweden.

German med-tech companies upbeat

Almost two-thirds of German med-tech executives expect to see an increase in sales for 2009 and the same number report already creating more jobs, according to a survey by TNS Emnid (Berlin) commissioned by med-tech industry association BVMed.

Only 15% of the 103 executives participating in the survey said they anticipate a drop in sales for the current year, and just 7% reported dismissing employees.

Some 70% of companies said they are introducing new products this year with half saying the products will be fixed equipment, as opposed to disposables and hand instruments.

While citing a high level of education as a strength for being based in Germany, a third of respondents said they are struggling to find qualified engineers, medical technicians and research or product development staff.