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Welcome to OMNInews from Omnica Corporation, a full-service product design and engineering firm located in Irvine, California.
Enjoy our selection of remarkable news, timely topics, and what's happening at Omnica.                         
Ron Sully - Director of Marketing                              
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   September 2016                  

Ingestible Medical Devices
- Wearables get all the press because there are so many big companies selling wrist-worn gadgets. At the Wearable Technologies seminar earlier this year we learned about ingestibles. They are a new class of technologies designed to enter the body, a number of which people are swallowing for various reasons.
 
One such device, a thermometer pill, has been used for 30 years to monitor the core body temperature of astronauts. Now race car drivers, firefighters, soldiers, and other occupations exposed to extreme conditions are using a new generation of the device to identify changes in core body temperature before it becomes critical. In the general population, healthcare patients are being asked to swallow a "smart pill" to observe the course of a fever during illness.
 
Most of these ingestibles monitor only one function at a time, but that's about to change. There are other pills in the pipeline, so to speak, armed with microphones to monitor cardiac function, and cameras for performing colonoscopies.  By 2017 the smart pill market is expected to reach nearly a billion dollars, so you'll undoubtedly hear more about this class of wearables in the near future.

Hacking the Hospital  - Any device connected to the Internet is subject to a possible hack attack. Leveraging the evolving Internet of Things and "smart" network-connected devices,  hackers are discovering new ways to mess with our well-being. They are targeting not only innocuous equipment like telephone systems and copiers, but critical devices such as pacemakers, infusion pumps (Hospira Simbiq pump pictured at right) and Bluetooth defibrillators.
 
Last fall, TrapX Security from San Mateo tracked 60 hospitals in a cyber-attack study and determined after six months, all of their virtually installed medical devices had been hacked. In many cases phishing attacks lured hospital staffers to open emails that installed malware on  hospital
computers, and by extension, medical devices on the same network.
 
It has been demonstrated that
hackers can potentially operate unsecured equipment remotely , but as dangerous as it sounds, there is another far-reaching issue. Web services embedded  in many medical devices communicate directly with multiple hospital databases, which are used to automatically populate patient medical records. It's another way hackers can steal personal medical data, which has 10 to 20 times the value of credit card numbers.
 
Healthcare is the most frequently attacked industry, but
for technical and liability reasons hospitals won't install security software within medical devices. According to the TrapX report, "Tampering with an FDA-approved device might impact operation in some unknown way. No clinician or healthcare institution administrator wants to take on that risk."

Fortunately, hackers mostly target devices that use legacy operating systems including older versions of Windows that don't have Endpoint Security and Control, making Windows7 and later versions much less vulnerable to attack
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Ugliest Color for Sale
- In an effort to discourage smoking and the attendant health issues, Ireland, France, and the UK now require cigarettes to be sold in standardized,  plain packaging featuring what some are saying is the world's ugliest color. The disturbing hue is thought to minimize appeal and maximize perceived harm.

Denouncing opaque couche` (koo-shay) as the "world's ugliest" color is especially troubling, since Pantone 448C bears a striking similarity to the taupe paint on my 2014 Volt. I hope this development won't affect resale value. Fortunately, many famous artworks feature swaths of couche` (including the Mona Lisa). If Leonardo is all right with the color, I should probably stop stressing.

    Local Healthcare Event Update

Age Gap Anxiety 
If you are a Boomer, have you noticed that Millennials have favored methods of communication that cause you to adjust your expectations? At the July Device Alliance meeting, the workforce dynamics panel clued us in by explaining how a preference for texting or voice calling is one of the many differences defining age groups. Other characteristics can be more polarizing.   Read how companies and workers can stay competitive and up to date by accommodating a blended workforce that embraces a diverse range of values.  

    Omnica News and Announcements . . .
                                            
Employment Opportunity - We are looking for two experienced people, an Electrical Engineer and a Mechanical Engineer, but we have two inflexible requirements:

      1) Minimum 5 years healthcare product development experience - no recent graduates.
      2) Applicants should live within a reasonable commuting distance from our facility.
 
Electrical Engineer - Minimum requirements
Experience in firmware development for embedded systems
PCB layout and Analog systems knowledge is advantageous
Schematic development for microprocessor-based, electro-mechanical systems
Familiarity with FDA regulated medical device development      

Mechanical Engineer
- Minimum requirements
Solidworks 3D CAD proficiency.
Fundamental materials knowledge of plastics, metals, and processes.
Familiarity with FDA regulated medical device development
 
If you are interested and meet our requirements, email your resume.      

September Calendar Quiz -
  In which corner are the six Omnica logos located? For a free Starbucks Coffee Card, email  the correct answer. If you are having a hard time concentrating, read about the 11 reasons coffee is good for you.    
 
  
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               Please Call:   Ron Sully - 949-472-0275

 
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   We are different than other product developers. Omnica is a  full service high-tech design and engineering firm in business for 33 years. We have 29 full-time employees (who have worked here for an average of 16 years), and perform all design and engineering services in house, at our Irvine facility. Our specialty is developing medical devices for both start-up companies, large firms like Abbott, Alcon, Quidel, Biosense Webster, Medtronic, and others.