Good vibrations: Voice-powered medical devices

20160206_STP005_0Implanted devices, such as heart pacemakers, are a valuable part of modern medicine’s armamentarium. Their use, however, is limited by the need to renew their batteries—and this is a particular problem for those, such as cochlear implants (which improve hearing), that are inside the wearer’s head.

For obvious reasons, surgeons do not like opening heads up unless it is strictly necessary. Sometimes, therefore, the battery packs that power head implants are put in the wearer’s chest. But this means running a wire up through the patient’s neck, from the one to the other, which is scarcely satisfactory either. A way to power such implants without replacing their batteries at all would thus be welcome. And Hyuck Choo of the California Institute of Technology and his colleagues think they have one. They plan to scavenge the necessary energy from the vibrations of the vocal cords that occur when someone is talking.


About Peter Coffaro 1136 Articles

A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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