DOWs (Devices of War)

In a time of war, the medical technology industry, like many others, is rethinking product lines to meet unfortunate circumstantial demands.

The San Antonio Business Journal reported yesterday that Vidacare, a med tech firm whose technology penetrates bone to administer IVs, has developed two new devices for use in military combat. The San Antonio-based company has added to its product line Manual and Sternal EZ-IO Needle Sets, lightweight packs that can be inserted in less than 30 seconds. This video shows how the EZ-IO system works.

The new Needle Sets were developed specifically for use on the battlefield. “Today’s combat environment demands reliable lightweight, flexible tools,” Vidacare CEO Phil Faris tells the Journal. “These proven devices can be set up in mission specific configurations to meet the needs of the military in the tactical, transport or hospital environments.”

Another med tech firm focused on battlefield devices is Portland, OR-based HemCon Medical Technologies. In 2005, the Army Surgeon General mandated that any soldier serving in Iraq or Afghanistan would carry at least one HemCon Bandage, designed to rapidly control bleeding — when in contact with blood, the bandage becomes extremely sticky; this adhesive-like action seals the wound. The bandage was the result of a three-year collaborative effort between HemCon and the U.S. Army. It received FDA clearance within 48 hours, in July 2005.  

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