A huge Asia Pacific medical show

The China Medical Equipment Fair (CMEF) which I just attended in Shenzhen, China over the last few days is Asia Pacific's largest medical device event. We hear so much about the "global" economy -- it has happened big time in Asia and Europe and with a few of the larger American companies such as Phillips and Laserage. Each country is angling to find the next best market and it seems as if everyone is partnering to do this: Pavilions at the show included ones from Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Spain, and Canada, to name a few.

Products and technologies covered a wide range, from imaging, surgical, diagnostics, electronics, as well as CM services, to name a few. Probably the most exciting ones I saw included a device which -- because FDA hurdles are so hard to jump -- will not be introduced to the U.S. market anytime soon. The eZscan is a non-invasive diabetes sceening device that lets the disease be caught early on. Tradtional methods don't catch the disease until it has already progressed, and they require a fasting blood sample, ingestion of glucose, and multiple blood samples. The new device, on the other hand, works like this: The subject places his hands and feet on flat nickle electrodes. The eZscan applies low dc voltage to varying combinations of anodes and cathodes and measures the low currents generated by electrochemical local reactions to generate a diabetes risk score. The method is rapid and can be used by healthcare personnel with no need for laboratory analysis. The device was invented by Phillippe Brunswick, CEO of Impeto Medical in Paris, France.

The other particularily interesting technology came from Masimo Corp. in Irvine, Calif. The technology is a simple upgrade to one of the company's existing devices that transforms an existing monitor to one that performs noninvasive total hemoglobin monitoring. Previous methods were invasive and provided only intermittent measurement.

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