Thanks to a renewed grant program from National Instruments (NI), medical device
developers may now be able to find a new source of technical and financial support
for their Eureka!
the 2009 Medical Device
Grant Program, it provides $25,000 worth of software and services to makers
of medical systems that use or intend to use NI products. The products
include NI's well-known graphical system design platform, known as LabView, and CompactRio, its embedded
control and data acquisition system.
company, we're looking to support the technology phase of medical device development,"
says P.J. Tanzillo, medical segment lead for NI. "And the way we're doing it is
through this medical device grant program."
has supported medical device development in the past, as well. Last year, the
giant virtual instrumentation company issued 21 of the grants, 17 to U.S.-based
entities. Recipients included researchers at McGill
University who created McSleepy, an
automated anesthetic system for use by anesthesiologists during surgery. The
system, developed and programmed in LabVIEW, reportedly enables anesthesiologists
to devote 15 to 20 percent more time to other aspects of surgery, such as
direct patient care.
even familiar with our software tools and yet they were able to get the product
into (clinical) trials within four weeks," Tanzillo says.
recipients from 2008 included KC Biomedix,
creator of a "computerized pacifier" known as NTrainer, which helps
premature babies learn oral feeding, and Kitasato University,
which developed a cancer-detecting medical instrument using optical coherence
tomography. National Instruments also awarded grants to such companies as Sanarus Medical, College Park Industries and OptiMedica for innovations ranging from
data acquisition systems for amputees to laser systems that treat retinal
Instruments' engineers say many of the grants have gone to start-up companies,
but they emphasize the program is open to engineering teams at large firms as
well. Moreover, they say the possibility of receiving such grants is good.
"We have a
committee that meets monthly to evaluate grant applications," Tanzillo says.
"And the acceptance rate â about 30 percent â is higher than most grants we're