National Instruments supports medical device development

02 June 2008

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National Instruments is announcing three initiatives to help support safe and efficient medical device development. From June 2008, National Instruments is offering a series of free workshops that demonstrate how to develop a medical device using NI technology as well as provide instruction on how to secure validation for the device from the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company is also co-hosting a two-day workshop in August 2008 to give physicians, scientists and engineers a forum to network and share ideas on addressing some of the challenges and solutions for device research, development and commercialisation. Additionally, National Instruments has started a grant programme that will provide software, support and training to startup companies developing medical devices.

NI hardware and software are currently used in a variety of medical devices including: the Audeo from Ambient Corporation, a non-invasive device that acquires and interprets neurological signals to perform various actions such as speaking and moving; the PASCAL photocoagulator from OptiMedica, which reduces various retinal disease treatments from one hour to five minutes; and the Visica2 Treatment System from Sanarus Medical, a minimally invasive tumour treatment device that greatly reduces patient pain and discomfort. Each of these products was designed, prototyped and deployed using the NI LabVIEW graphical system design platform, which helped the medical device manufacturers quickly create reliable and cost-effective medical devices and shorten their time to market. This technology also makes it possible for developers to measure and understand physiological data and treat some of the world's most serious illnesses and disabilities by designing devices with improved efficiency to decrease costs and increase long-term health.

Jeff Stevens, Principal Systems Engineer at Sanarus, says: "National Instruments technology played a critical role in the quick design, prototype and deployment of the Visica2 Treatment System. In addition to meeting a demanding release schedule, the NI graphical system design platform helped us develop a safe, reliable, high-quality medical device that is extremely effective in destroying common tumours with little discomfort to our patients."

Free workshop

To help other medical device companies simplify development, National Instruments is hosting Medical Device Development – From Concept to Approval, a free one-day workshop that will show how to use NI hardware and software in the development of more efficient and cost-effective medical devices. Offered in three American locations, the workshop focuses on teaching ways to develop a simple medical device and features topics such as system requirements, prototyping, test development, deployment and FDA validation.

Medical Device Workshop

In collaboration with Carilion Biomedical Institute, National Instruments is also co-hosting an industry workshop that brings together physicians, scientists and engineers who are focused on developing innovative, effective and safe medical devices. The Medical Device Workshop, scheduled for 5–6 August during NIWeek 2008, the company's annual graphical system design conference and exhibition, examines the landscape of the medical device market and offers a networking opportunity for physicians, researchers and engineers. Additionally, National Instruments will provide hands-on training on how to use NI technology to simplify all phases of medical device development from research to device deployment. The workshop kicks off with a keynote from G Terry Sharrer PhD, Executive Director of the Medical Innovation and Transformation Institute of the Inova Health System and former Curator of Health Sciences at the Smithsonian Institute.


Additionally, because many of the innovative advances in medical technology over the past 20 years have been developed by small, entrepreneurial medical technology companies, National Instruments has created a grant programme that will award up to USD25,000 in software, support and training for up to 40 startup medical device companies that are evaluating NI hardware as a component of their devices. The goal of the new grant programme is to help startup companies reduce the cost and complexity of development by providing technology such as the LabVIEW graphical programming environment. National Instruments is accepting applications for the grant programme until 30 September 2008.

To learn more about these medical device initiatives, apply for the grant programme, read case studies and download webcasts, visit To learn more about the Medical Device Workshop and to register for NIWeek 2008, visit or use the form on this page.

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