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National Instruments announce software and training grant programmes for medical device development

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National Instruments Aust & NZ  have announced that they will continue their investment to further medical device development by offering software and training grants in 2009.

A recent study of more than 1,000 medical device manufacturers by medical device consulting firm Emergo Group reported that 61% of respondents expect sales for their companies to increase in 2009. To help medical device manufacturers meet this demand, National Instruments Aust & NZ are accepting applications for the 2009 Medical Device Grant Programme, which provides start-up assistance for those who are interested in using NI hardware as a component of their medical devices.

National Instruments Aust & NZ have created a grant programme that awards up to $25,000 USD in software and services to start-up medical device companies that are evaluating NI hardware as a component of their devices. The goal of the grant programme is to help start-up companies to reduce the cost and complexity of development by providing them with technology such as the easy-to-use NI LabVIEW graphical system design platform.

In 2008, National Instruments Aust & NZ granted funds in software and training to 21 medical device developers. Engineers use NI hardware and software solutions for medical devices to save time and money during medical device design, prototype and deployment.

Using NI hardware and software, domain experts can automate traditionally low-level implementation tasks with LabVIEW and spend more time researching science and developing treatments. For example, with an arsenal of embedded electronics, 2008 grant recipient Quark Cybernetics and Fundamental Research Laboratories are using LabVIEW and NI hardware to create an advanced electrocardiogram, which aims to predict cardiac pathologies using advanced mathematical algorithms.

In addition, biomedical engineers and physicians can create prototypes quickly with tightly integrated NI hardware and software. A quick, functional prototype can help a medical device development company to create their products before their competitors, and have a better chance of receiving subsequent rounds of venture capital funding. Niveus Medical applied and received a grant from National Instruments Aust & NZ in 2008 to realise this benefit with LabVIEW graphical programming.

The signals generated by the human body are so small that high analogue precision is necessary for accurate medical device development. With measurement products from National Instruments Aust & NZ, physicians and biomedical engineers can perform precise data acquisition. The 2008 grant recipient, ST Cardio Technologies, used National Instruments’ data acquisition products to deploy a cardiac stimulator for traditional electrophysiology and cardiac catheterisation labs.

ST Cardio Technologies selected National Instruments technology to enable rapid development and evaluation of advanced electrophysiological stimulation protocols in research settings coupled with the ability to quickly develop remote diagnostics capabilities for their deployed systems. ST Cardio Technologies’ cardiac stimulator is easy to learn and operate, and its programmable architecture created with NI hardware and software allows for updating the system through software as new, leading-edge protocols are developed.

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