Medical Equipment Design Blog

Medical Equipment Design

The Medical Equipment Design Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about medical grade materials and products, electrical and electronic equipment, computers, imaging & software, and home healthcare & diagnostics as used in the medical industry. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

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A Tail of Two Fields?

Posted June 09, 2011 7:00 AM

What can veterinary science bring to the medical device design table? The dean of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine of Tufts University, MA, maintains that collaboration with veterinary clinician scientists could help the U.S. Center for Devices and Radiological Health accelerate medical device development, reduce costs, and streamline regulatory evaluation. There is precedence for collaboration and translation of products between the disciplines, particularly in orthopedics and cardio fields.

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Re: A Tail of Two Fields?

06/10/2011 12:37 AM

He's probably right. The physiologies are quite similar, with further testing and higher reliability required for human vs. animal medicines/devices. If I were sick/injured and asked if there was a physician present--and there was no answer--I would next ask if a veterinarian was present. Indeed, I might even start by asking if either was available.

Speciesism, ptooey.

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Re: A Tail of Two Fields?

06/11/2011 12:58 PM

The involvement of veterinarians - whose goal by definition is to provide care to animals - is a decent place to start compared with, say, the use of animals by non-veterinarian scientists for medical research.

I've begun to wonder whether it is the experimental models, rather than the use of animals, which makes medical research in animals such a poor predictor of success in clinical trials. The models - generally involving various means of inducing or simulating a disease or disorder in healthy animals - fall short of the predictive mark 85% of the time. Basically, this means a lot of suffering is caused for no end.

Where the research is instead focused on providing treatment to an animal with a genuine need of care, the ethic is reversed. Insofar as the animals in question are someone's beloved pet, provided with an opportunity to benefit from a life-saving or life-enhancing experimental device, the informed consent of the owner is as close as any animal will get to the ethical standard for research in humans. And since authentic conditions are being treated - as opposed to experimentally inflicted 'models'- it may be that this turns out to be a better predictor of success or failure in human patients as well.

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