I worked for a couple of medical device companies. One of the was Northstar Neuroscience. It was based a very cool concept. We developed a small battery powered electrode that could be implanted on the motor area of stroke victim’s brain. The system could be turned on to provide a tiny electrical current to the brain while the patient was participating in physical therapy. Guess what? It worked. Patients who were partially paralyzed on one side of their body regained a remarkable amount of movement. But timing is everything and before we could commercialize the device and obtain FDA approval, the stock market ran into a brick wall and there was no way the company could continue without another stock offering, so it went under. Actually, Saint Jude bought the technology but never really did anything with it.
The thing I loved about working at Northstar was all the bright energetic minds. I’m happy to say that many of the engineers and thinkers migrated from Northstar to another start-up company, NeuroVista. What they’re working on is a really cool sensor that is able to predict when a person with epilepsy is going to have a seizure.
There is a genetic line of dogs that have seizures and the company has successfully tried the device on the seizure-prone dogs with good success. Enough so that the company is starting their first clinical trial on humans in Australia. Check them out at http://www.neurovista.com.
If you’re interested, check out a recent interview that was broadcast on Australian TV: