• American Honda Motor (New York) said it is demonstrating its prototype walking assist devices at a technical exhibition at the 2009 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress April 20- 23. Intended to support walking for the elderly, people with weakened leg muscles the devices are currently being tested in real-world conditions to evaluate their effectiveness. The first device, Stride Management Assist, is a lightweight, wearable device designed for people with weakened leg muscles, but who can still walk on their own. It obtains information about the user's walking motions from hip angle sensors. Based on the information, the CPU applies cooperative control and calculates the amount and timing of the assistance to be provided. With the device's assistance, the user's stride is lengthened compared to their normal stride and the walking pace regulated, thereby making it easier to walk. The second device, bodyweight support assist, is also designed to help people with weakened leg muscles, but may also be helpful during some physically demanding activities. It supports bodyweight to reduce the load on the user's legs while walking, going up and down stairs, and while standing in a semi-crouching position. This device has a simple structure consisting of seat, frame, and shoes, and the user can put it on by simply wearing the shoes and lifting the seat into position.

• Bioject Medical Technologies (Portland, Oregon) said that it has met a significant milestone under its development agreement with Merial Limited by delivering to Merial working prototype devices and auto-disable syringes for its next generation spring-powered companion animal device. This new device will allow veterinarians to deliver multiple Merial companion animal vaccines using a single device. The needle-free spring injection device is based on a needle-free injection technology platform designed for delivery of vaccines in the companion animal market. The platform is designed to combine high performance standards, dosing flexibility, consistent depth of penetration, and reduced cost. The durable device is designed for use by the veterinarian to deliver vaccines to both feline and canine animals, simply by selection of the appropriate syringe.

• Precision Biomarker Resources (Evanston, Illinois) says that it is the first service provider to offer microRNA Profiling using the new GeneChip miRNA Arrays recently released by Affymetrix. Precision Biomarker provides RNA and microRNA (miRNA) profiling and data analysis services for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic researchers who use microarray methods for discovering biomarkers in their research. Because miRNAs are emerging as a major component in the regulation of gene expression, knowledge of their role in biological processes is becoming a focus of biomarker discovery.

• TheraDoc (Salt Lake City) has introduced a new patient safety surveillance tool to help hospitals address a recent Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal focused on reducing the possibility of patient harm associated with anticoagulation therapy. The TheraDoc Anticoagulation Alerts package tracks the condition of patients receiving anticoagulation drug therapy to prevent blood clots, providing an early warning of potential adverse drug events or other problems. Anticoagulation therapy is a high-risk treatment, and adverse events are common due to dosing complexity and difficulties in monitoring the drugs' safety and efficacy

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