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Health + Wellness : Innovation & Job News

92 Health + Wellness Articles | Page: | Show All

Royal Oak's Innovative Surgical Solutions receives FDA approval for new device

Royal Oak's Innovative Surgical Solutions, LLC (ISS) have received FDA clearance to market a new device that assists surgeons in locating and mapping motor nerves.

The NeuralMAS™ device uses mechanomyographic (MMG) signals and electrical stimulus of nerves to locate and identify spinal nerve roots and peripheral motor nerves originating from spinal levels C3-T1 and L2-S2.

"Our MMG-based NeuralMAS™ System is configured to identify muscle contraction in response to nerve stimulus", stated Christopher Wybo, COO and VP of R&D.  "By measuring this muscle response, surgeons are able to accurately identify, map and avoid injury to nerves."

The NeuralMAS™ Nerve Mapping and Avoidance System will compete with other monitoring systems that rely on EMG, but ISS's product, using MMG signals, does not require a neurophysiologist to interpret signals for the surgeon.

Stephen Bartol, President and CEO of ISS, stated, "This is a surgeon operated, surgeon driven nerve monitoring system which will reduce the risk of nerve injury in minimally invasive spine surgery. The immediate applications will include the direct lateral approach to the lumbar spine where identification and mapping of nerves is critical for patient safety."

Source: Innovative Surgical Solutions

Job Growth is coming to SE Michigan, forecast says

A new economic forecast from the Economic Growth Alliance says southeastern Michigan will finally begin to gain jobs next year.

The Economic Growth Alliance is a partnership of five southeastern Michigan counties: Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Oakland and St. Clair. The forecast, prepared by George Fulton and Don Grimes of the U-M Institute of Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy, projects that the region will make small gains in job growth beginning in 2011.

"Although we are forecasting that the five-county region will lose another 11,000 jobs this year---painful indeed, but the smallest annual job loss in the region since 2005---the pattern of job loss is reversed next year for the first time since 2000," Fulton says.

The five-county area lost nearly 225,000 jobs over the last 10 years. According to the projection, the region will gain close to 2,600 jobs in 2011, and another 8,500 jobs in 2010.

Fulton and Grimes noted that all of the net job gains for the next two years will occur in the private sector, as state and local governments continue to deal with budget shortfalls and fiscal pressure. Professional and business services, private education, health services and construction are all forecasted to add thousands of jobs to Michigan's economy by 2012.

The study also pointed to another positive trend: a rise in entrepreneurship and self-employment. By looking at household employment, or the number of residents who say they are working for themselves or for someone else, almost 15,000 jobs were added using this measurement. Household employment will result in 21,000 more jobs over the next two years, according to the study.

"The more favorable outlook for household employment is due in large part to the increasing numbers of self-employed in a tentative hiring environment," Grimes says.

Source: Economic Growth Alliance.

POH using 3-D video to train employees, keep patients safe

3-D video is revolutionizing the film industry, but it can also help train hospital employees to provide better healthcare to their patients.

Nursing units at POH Regional Medical Center (POHRMC) will take part in "immersive training technology," using 3-D technology, on Sept. 21 and 29.

"Immersive training simulates live situations, giving people the virtual sensation and emotional impact of their actions," says Dr. Larry Abramson, director of patient safety for POHRMC. "Studies have shown that immersive 3-D training has a much higher impact on people than traditional training."

POHRMC will be the first healthcare institution in the country to take part in immersive training. The technology was developed by Pontiac-based 3-D ETC (3-D Experential Training Company). POHRMC's custom safety videos will address the healthcare industry's three most prevalent patient safety concerns: proper hand-washing hygiene, medication errors and patient handoff communication.

"Just as people have been captivated by Avatar and other 3-D movie experiences, so have employees who have received our high-impact 3-D safety training programs," said Dave Hodgson, President of 3-D ETC. "With the Patient Safety series, we are applying the proven success we have had in other industries to raise the bar in patient safety."

Oakland County Medical Main Street attracts $11M in investment, 275 jobs

Healthcare, an industry long taken for granted in Metro Detroit, is proving to be an increasingly strong job source in Oakland County.

The Oakland County Medical Main Street program has attracted $11 million in investment, creating 275 new positions, over the last two years. The latest round comes from Royal Oak Medical Devices. The company plans to spend $2.6 million to expand its medical device design, manufacturing, and distributing operations, a move that is expected to create 26 new jobs over the next few years.

"In the past we have taken these jobs a little for granted because they were part of our infrastructure," says Maureen Krauss, director of the Economic Development and Community Affairs at Oakland County.

No longer. Oakland County's life sciences industry employs 93,000 people and is projected to create another 45,000 jobs over the next decade, according to a study by the Anderson Economic Group. This industry also has deep roots in the research sectors. Just under 4,900 clinical trials are currently underway in Oakland County -- more than what is taking place in California, Florida, Texas, and New Jersey.

Oakland County started its Medical Main Street program in 2008 with the idea of helping fast-track growth in the life sciences industry. "It keeps the talent, assets, and people here," Krauss says. "It's a really strong part of our retention program."

Source: Maureen Krauss, director of the Dept of Economic Development and Community Affairs at Oakland County
Writer: Jon Zemke

Wellco's health tracking software a successful, adds positions

Royal Oak-based Wellco isn't a provider these days as much as it is a fixer when it comes to improving the health of Metro Detroit's workforce.

"We have become much less a wellness provider and more of a company that fixes wellness programs," says Scott Foster, president of Wellco. "Wellness has become such a hot topic but companies have no idea whether their programs are effective or not."

Wellco has developed software and programs for companies to document and track the health of their employees. The idea is to create a healthier, more productive workforce that ultimately saves significant sums of money in medical costs, both in the short- and long-term.

Its newest technology, HealthHammer, helps its customers benchmark, measure, and improve healthy lifestyles. It also gives them the Top 15 health conditions to avoid, such as back pain, diabetes, and depression.

Wellco has avoided its own pitfalls and experienced some healthy growth in the last two years, adding two hires to round its staff out to a dozen people and three independent contractors. It currently has one open position for a wellness specialist and expects to create another five jobs over the next six months.

Source: Scott Foster, president of Wellco
Writer: Jon Zemke

Beaumont Hospital gets $4.8M grant for cancer research

Cancer research at Beaumont Hospital is catching a second wind now that the National Cancer Institute has renewed its cancer program designation.

The confirmation means
the Royal Oak-based hospital will stay a Community Clinical Oncology Program for five more years. It also comes with a $4.8 million grant that will keep the program's 35 people in the lab and hospital room working on an answer for cancer.

"It's a win-win for both the patients and the physicians and the hospital," says Dr. Gary Chmielewski, the principal investigator for Beaumont Hospital's Community Clinical Oncology Program. "It helps provide jobs and treatment for people."

The grant supports Beaumont's ongoing participation in NCI-sponsored clinical research trials. Such trials, for both adults and children, focus on cancer prevention or treatment and translational research. The federal government created the Community Clinical Oncology Program in 1983 and has 47
participating hospitals across the nation. The programs use highly trained cancer doctors in community settings to bring the benefits of research to a greater number of people, such as making the latest findings available and helping round out and diversify the pool of participants in clinical trials.

Source: Dr. Gary Chmielewski, the principal investigator for Beaumont Hospital's Community Clinical Oncology Program
Writer: Jon Zemke

Beringea puts $6M into InTouch Health

Michigan's largest venture capital firm has made another big investment, sending $6 million toward InTouch Health.

The investment is part of a Series D round of financing worth $10 million. The money will go toward creating a research and development center in a yet-to-be-determined location in Michigan, along with product development for the telemedicine firm. Farmington Hills-based Beringea is not tipping its hand at how many jobs this is expected to create, however, it will utilize a team of advanced robotics engineers.

"It depends on two things: the success of the company and the ability to attract strong talent," says Michael Gross, managing director of Beringea.

InTouch Health's technologies allow doctors to remotely perform consultations and diagnosis with hospital patients. The RP-7® series product lets doctors control robots from a computer, allowing him or her to interact with patients and staff. The idea is that cutting down travel time creates efficiencies for the physician.

More than 300 hospitals across the country are using these technologies, including 50 in Michigan.

The investment comes from Beringea's $175 million InvestMichigan! Growth Capital Fund. It's the latest in a recent string of multi-million-dollar investments, and more are expected later this year.

"We're very active right now," Gross says. "We have quite a bit of dry powder left in our InvestMichigan! Fund."

Source: Michael Gross, managing director of Beringea
Writer: Jon Zemke

MyInsuranceExpert.com hires 45, wants to add 50 more

Three years ago Lorne Zalesin and two colleagues saw a demand in need of satisfying and went for it. The result is MyInsuranceExpert.com, one of Metro Detroit's fastest-growing start-ups.

The Troy-based firm now employs 65 people after hiring 45 last year. It now plans 50 more hires this year, starting with a friend-of-employee recruiting session later this month. As far as Zalesin and his partners are concerned, the sky is the limit for MyInsuranceExpert.com's growth prospects.

"The market is exponentially growing right now," Zalesin says. "There is a lot of opportunity."

The trio had been working for a health insurance company specializing in growth plans when they saw the demand for individual health insurance plans. They struck out on their own soon after and found their pot of start-up gold at the end of that rainbow.

The company helps individuals find the best health insurance package for their needs. That often leads to rates that are much less than if they did the searching themselves. MyInsuranceExpert has become so good at this that it is now the second largest company in a rapidly growing sector.

"It's very targeted to the client looking for health insurance," Zalesin says.

Source: Lorne Zalesin, CEO of MyInsuranceExpert.com
Writer: Jon Zemke

Novi's Nutriinfo.com leverages technology for wellness

Mia Jang doesn't believe that weight loss and living an overall healthy lifestyle has to be as hard as it's made out to be. It's why she started Nutriinfo.com.

The Novi-based firm specializes in putting people onto the road to wellness with minimal sidetracks. Jang, who has a PhD in nutrition, was inspired to keep it simple after trying to navigate the websites of some of the famous weight-loss programs.

"They weren't very user friendly," says Jang, the CEO and founder of Nutriinfo.com. "It was too much information so you get lost as you go through the program."

The start-up was one of 20 promising companies (selected from a pool of 200) selected by the University of Michigan-Dearborn's School of Management. The IT health solution firm has developed its product and is planning to sign up a number new clients in 2010. She hopes to transform the work from those clients into a few new hires for a company with four independent contractors and the occasional intern.

"We have a lot of potential," Jang says.

Source: Mia Jang, the CEO and founder of Nutriinfo.com
Writer: Jon Zemke

CareTech Solutions purchases Penn-based IGCN

Another business from Troy is getting bigger now that CareTech Solutions has bought IGCN.

CareTech Solutions provides IT and web services to hospitals and other healthcare institutions. Pennsylvania-based IGCN,
short for Interactive Global Communications Network, specializes in building and managing websites for hospitals.

CareTech Solutions made the purchase to expand its client base and technical capabilities. IGCN is 12 years old and employs about a dozen people, some of whom will move to CareTech's offices in Troy.

"We expect some of them to [move] but the details are still being worked out," says Anne Santori, a spokeswoman for CareTech Solutions.

The company employs just under 1,000 people across the U.S., including about 650 in Troy. It made 200 hires within the last year and expects to continue this in 2010.

"There has been a lot of hiring going on in the last year," Santori says.

Source: Anne Santori, spokeswoman for CareTech Solutions
Writer: Jon Zemke

Critical Signal Technologies acquires firm, looks to grow

Jeffery Prough and two others started Critical Signal Technologies in Farmington Hills three years ago. Today they are picking up venture capital, buying firms, and hiring people at a torrid pace.

"We have had an aggressive growth strategy, to say the least," says Prough, president and CEO of Critical Signal Technologies.

The start-up hit about 50 employees in Metro Detroit earlier this year before buying a Massachusetts-based firm this summer, bringing another 70 people into the fold. It also recently collected $8.7 million in venture capital, including $2 million from Michigan's 21st Century Jobs Fund and $100,000 from Automation Alley.

Of its new hires, 20 of them came on board within the last year. Prough expects "pretty significant growth" over the next two years, enough to create 100 new jobs in Michigan.

Critical Signal Technologies is a life sciences tech company that develops 24-hour personal emergency response and remote medical monitoring services for elderly and disabled people. The idea is to allow them to live a safer and more independent life.

Prough used to work as the CEO of a local security company and was taking care of his elderly parents when he saw the need for these services. Shortly thereafter he was striking out on his own.

"I saw the absolute void in care," Prough says.

Source: Jeffery Prough, president and CEO of Critical Signal Technologies
Writer: Jon Zemke

World's leading supplier of medical laser articulated arms expanding in Michigan

OXID Corporation has been recognized as the world's leading manufacturer of medical laser articulated arms for over 22 years. Built to exacting standards, the "OXID" arm delivers the most accurate, repeatable performance in the industry. In addition, OXID Corporation applies the same level of engineering and fabrication excellence in its contract manufacturing operations. The company is expanding with a new 28,000 sq. ft. building in Novi, Michigan, to further grow their medical manufacturing business.
"If you've had any type of medical laser procedure such as corrective eye surgery, tattoo removal, hair removal, wrinkle removal or any laser surgery, chances are an OXID articulated arm was used," said Jeff Hocking, Medical Operations Manager at OXID Corporation. Hocking continued, "At OXID Corporation you can choose from over 400 different styles of articulated arms and counterweights. We can even custom engineer an arm to meet your design requirements."
OXID Corporation also offers a complete line of handpieces, couplers, micromanipulators, and scanners for both the "OXID" arm and other leading medical lasers.
About OXID Corporation:
Founded in 1986, OXID Corporation is the recognized world leader in the design and manufacture of medical laser articulated arms. OXID Corporation stands behind the products they sell with over 22 years of industry leading service and support. With corporate offices located in Oakland County, Michigan, OXID Corporation is firmly positioned to support its global customer base.

NeuMedicine Technologies look to hire up to 20

Ever have a day when you need a doctor, but can't find one anywhere? NeuMedicine Technologies plans to solve that ailment.

The Rochester Hills-based start-up uses telemedicine technology to place doctors with the hospitals or medical facilities that need them.

"The firm provides physicians to hospitals who have the medical staff to meet the needs of the community," says Rob Fisher, founder and CEO of NeuMedicine Technologies.

A venture-capital firm, Boston-based HLM, recruited Fisher to start the company almost two years ago. Last year he finally made the plunge and now employs five people and two interns, plus 30 physicians under contract in 10 states.

He expects to add a couple more staffers in the next few weeks and another 15-20 within the next year. Another 50-75 physicians will probably come under contract by then, and a new west coast office is expected to be open within the next year.

"I see it exploding," Fisher says. "The bottom line is we have two clients now but we have 34 hospitals in 10 states that are signing contracts."

Source: Rob Fisher, founder and CEO of NeuMedicine Technologies
Writer: Jon Zemke

Medtipster continues to grow website and payroll in Troy

The guys behind Medtipster noticed that lots of consumers assumed $4 generic drugs could only be bought at the deep-discount, big-box retailers. But they knew lots of smaller mom-and-pop shops also offered them.

"Nobody knew about them," says Bruce Liebowitz, COO of Medtipster. "All of the talk was centered on Walmart."

That led to the creation of Medtipster. Think of it as a Google for locating the nearest outlet for $4 generic drugs. Enter in what type of medication you're looking for, and the website will direct you to the least expensive retailer.

The 8-month-old start-up went live online a month ago and has since added two more people to its payroll, for a total of six. The Troy-based firm hopes to expand this cost comparator website into the dental, chiropractic, and vision sectors.

"I think within the next year for sure," Liebowitz says. "We move at Internet speed, not brick-and-mortar speed."

He expects Medtipster will start hiring soon after that happens. Most of those new jobs will be in IT and other technical positions.

Source: Bruce Liebowitz, COO of Medtipster
Writer: Jon Zemke

Ferndale's Eloquest Healthcare adds 4, looking to add 4 more

A year ago Eloquest Healthcare didn't exist. Today the Ferndale-based firm employs 16 people.

Eloquest Healthcare is a spin-off of the Ferndale Pharma Group, and it's still got a lot of centrifugal force going for it. The company recently hired four people and expects to hire another four in the next few months.

The Ferndale Pharma Group spun off Eloquest Healthcare for legal liability reasons and to help the company focus on its core business without sacrificing revenue.

Eloquest Healthcare is a dermatology specialty company with an emphasis on minimizing dermal pain, preserving and/or repairing the integrity of the skin, and ensuring the integrity of devices adhered to the skin. It focuses specifically on selling its products to hospitals, their healthcare practitioners, and patients.

"We will continue to leverage and broaden our product line," says Tim O'Halla, vice president and COO of Eloquest Healthcare.

Source: Tim O'Halla, vice president and COO of Eloquest Healthcare
Writer: Jon Zemke
92 Health + Wellness Articles | Page: | Show All
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