Category Archives: Future Technology

Moving Towards a Painless Back: Motion Preservation is Possible with Total Disc Replacement

Doctors and experts lay great stress on the disclaimer: There isn’t a single class or type of spinal treatment that can be considered the best for a patient.

The causes of back pain must be isolated and then treated case by case for a hyper-specialized solution.

But over the past decade or so the most frequently recommended course of action has been resorting to spinal fusion.

Spinal Fusion & Loss of Motion:

The premise of spinal fusion surgery is to eliminate contact and friction. The vertebrae of the spinal cord often rub against each other and surrounding soft tissues resulting in discomfort.

Through a spinal fusion surgery, screws, rods and even pieces of bone, or bone grafts, are used to turn two separate vertebrae into one functional, supported unit.

The upside of the procedure is the reduction of pain by eliminating disc friction.

The flip side of spinal fusion surgery is the loss of motion that results from fusing the discs.

Medical breakthroughs and alternatives have thus focused on the goal of motion preservation.

Research supports that one of the best ways to permit spinal flexibility, post procedure, is to completely replace the discs that are at the root of the problem. FDA approved, artificial discs allow that process to take place.

Hammill Medical is Proud to Manufacture PRODISC C/L:

PRODISC leaves room for hope, offering pain mitigation without stiffness and motion restrictions.

It is one of the only artificial disc variants in the US market.

Hammill Medical will be using our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and abilities to prototype and produce the next generation of orthopedic devices to ship PRODISC units of unparalleled quality.

This engagement will aim to make motion preservation a more common option for those with disc degeneration and other chronic and acute spinal conditions.

To stay updated on how we bring PRODISC to the market, please follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

You can also contact us here.

Keeping Up with the Fast-Paced Medical Devices Industry

Manufacturing & Medical Breakthroughs

Knowledge and skills are like radioactive atoms. They decay with time. This is particularly true in the medical field as breakthroughs happen almost every day. The voracious appetite of human beings where eradication of diseases and difficulties is concerned has not and will not wane in the near future. The only course of action open to manufacturers keen on supporting this field is constant education. And that’s what Hammill Medical is all about.

A Legacy of Knowledge & Practical Information:

Knowledge isn’t limited to books. Often the best skill upgrades happen at summits, expositions and boot camps. To this effect Hammill, is all set to be a presence at some of the most prestigious medical device and orthopedic events of 2018. Commitment to quality and thought leadership isn’t easy. With that said, our team is ready to keep up with the fast-paced medical sector.

NASS Meeting 2018:

The spine implants market is rapidly growing. And is a very viable segment for us.

The North American Spine Society (NASS) provides enduring material in the form of spirited discussions and presentations which distill the latest in spine surgery, rehabilitation and support devices for quick consumption.

This year’s winter events will highlight both surgical and medical perspectives on spine care.

These events will allow us to learn about the latest technologies and capabilities for new and upcoming customer projects in the medical device industry

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Meeting 2018:

March 6th to March 10th 2018 New Orleans, Louisiana is home to a prestigious congregation of doctors, physicians, special practitioners, medical service providers and international vendors.

The reason? Up to date, accurate medical information and programs that enlighten registrants about all aspects of medicine and medical support.

We will use this opportunity to expand our circle and also stay abreast of what’s new in the industry.

More About Hammill Medical:

Hammill Medical has a 90,000 square feet state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Toledo Ohio. We operate within manufacturing guidelines mandated by the FDA. We are ISO 13485 accredited. And most importantly, we have experience bringing new products to our buyers – on time and in budget.

We sincerely believe what we absorb at these educational events sharpens our existing abilities and equips us to embrace new capabilities.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter & LinkedIn for the latest industry updates or you can contact us here today.

2018 Predicted to Bring a Multitude of Success for the Medical Device & Implant Industries

Science has given mankind many miracles. But the most enduring and impactful of these has been the introduction and commercialization of modern medicine. It has single-handedly ended the reign of dreaded diseases, improved longevity and provided succour to those who are afflicted.

With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that the medicines, medical devices and implants industries are poised to witness consistent growth not only in 2018 but over the next 10 years.

United States is a Thriving Devices and Implants Market:

The combined value of the various players in the medical devices sector is a staggering 155 billion USD.

Implants alone account for more than 70 billion USD.

There are a few reasons why the projected expansion of this space is extremely optimistic.

–       The population in the US is aging fast. Some of the Baby Boomers – the largest segment of the American population before the Millennials arrived on the scene have already touched the 70 years mark. It is estimated that more than 24% of US citizens will be 65 or older soon. The common maladies of age and bone degradation turn the elderly into busy consumers of medical services, devices, and therapy.

–       The increasingly sedentary lifestyle of generation Y is preparing the stage for spine issues and organ degeneration in the relatively young workforce as well. Both are managed through surgical interventions and the introduction of implantable support systems.

–       Insurance availability has peaked in the past few years. Even if the freedom to visit the doctor is curtailed because of reforms presented by the administration, there will still be people who can now afford medical devices and assistance, and they will opt for them to improve their lives further fuelling growth.

Hammill Medical is Ready to Play its Part

Market research puts orthopedic implants as a leader in the medical devices category. Hammill Medical is an ISO 13485 accredited and FDA registered manufacturer of medical devices specializing in orthopedic and spinal implants.

With the ability to see production through from original concept to high-quality finished item at our 90,000-sq. ft. state of the art facility, our name has inspired trust and embodied innovation for well over half a century.

We are the perfect partner for businesses looking to capitalize on the trend of implantable medical devices. For more information contact us today.

You can also follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

National Manufacturing Day and Hammill Medical Help Bridge the Skills Gap

The annual National Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 6th was created to emphasize the importance of manufacturing across the U.S. On the official website businesses can list what events are taking place at their location. Interested parties can find out what is going on nearby. Across the industry, professionals hope that a day dedicated to modern-day manufacturing will inspire a new generation to consider the field as a gratifying career option. Today, there are currently over 2,000+ events planned across the U.S., and that number is predicted to grow through the start of October.

The initiative to mend the skills gap is a driving force that brings awareness to both the National Manufacturing Day and the industry at large. With baby boomers reaching retirement age there aren’t enough millennials pursuing the field to fill such vacancies. Options to chip away at closing the gap include STEM education, training tools, and apprenticeship programs.

At Hammill, we offer a four-year formal apprenticeship program with both state and national accreditation. This kind of training tackles an internal skills gap while teaching participants necessary abilities for future involvement within both Hammill Medical and the industry at large. Creating a classroom and floor experience approach allows applicants to start their careers upon graduation. The program offers the equivalent of a two-year college and a full Journeyman machinist certification.

It’s estimated there will be a shortage of over two million manufacturing workers by the year 2025. One of the key components to overcoming this shortage is to educate the public about what manufacturing is today. Our industry is no longer the same floor shop it once was. It’s time to say goodbye to the notions that it is still your “granddad’s factory.” Today, manufacturing stands for education and execution of the latest industry technology, a secure future, and a stronger U.S. and global economy. With proper training, mentorship, and diversity, we believe manufacturing can recruit and retain high-quality skilled workers needed to keep the industry thriving beyond this time of adversity.

As a manufacturer of orthopedic and spinal implants, surgical instruments, and implantable medical devices, we know how valuable skilled employees are to our industry. To learn more about medical manufacturing, mending the skill gap, and more industry-related issues, read our blog, follow us on Twitter, connect with us on LinkedIn, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or contact us at any time. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Hammill Medical Looks Forward to 2017

Here at Hammill Medical we are anticipating a very busy and exciting 2017. As experts in orthopedic and spinal implants, surgical instruments, and prototype manufacturing and product development, we understand the growing need for medical equipment across the U.S. and worldwide. With the turn of the new year, there is news that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will lessen its extreme grip, making it manageable for industry leaders to get approval. This will enable companies to become more innovative in the field.

As technology advances, so do the many components that make up products such as trauma hip systems, surgical instruments, spinal plates, and much more. We understand the growing need for components that work and how these pieces can help to build the perfect solution for many patients. Whether a professional baseball player is looking to get back into the game after an injury or a retired person is looking for a better quality of life, we offer products that truly impact lives. At Hammill Medical, we understand the many facets of these products and how they can be designed for maximum functionality. We offer design technology from customer concept to in-house design and manufacturing engineering.

Our 90,000 sq. ft. facility offers state of the art manufacturing here in the U.S. We are proud to be ISO 13485 certified and are registered with the FDA. With over 100 employees, we are able to bring your new products to market efficiently, all while staying within budget. Our quality control resources mean customers get a quality product each and every time.

All of us at Hammill Medical are looking forward to the new designing and manufacturing advancements in the new year. We are also committed to ensuring the highest level of customer service for all our customers, new and old alike. We are following all the latest trends and advancement and would love to share that information with our customers. To find out more, follow us on our blog, on Twitter, and on LinkedIn. From all of us here at Hammill Medical, we wish you a Happy New Year!

Our End-of-Year Recap: Looking Back on 2016

We can hardly believe it, but it’s almost time to say goodbye to 2016. Throughout the past year, we’ve had the chance to explore rapidly evolving additive manufacturing technology and relay exciting medical industry news in our blog. Before heading home for the holidays, we wanted to take a look back at a few of the year’s biggest accomplishments.

In 2016, our team explored two kinds of implantable technologies: high-tech welding and orthopedic PEEK implants. High-tech welding — a complex structural laser process — is an all-encompassing technology that takes implantable components from assembly to function verification and finally through cleaning and passivation before shipment. By using high-tech welding to melt components into tighter joints, we’ve been able to create safer spinal implants for patients.

PEEK implants are comprised of the organic polymer thermoplastic, polyether ether ketone — a material with mechanical properties similar to human bones. Featuring tiny pits on the surface, these flexible implants improve biocompatibility and encourage new bone cell growth in orthopedic and spinal patients. By incorporating these state-of-the-art technologies into our manufacturing processes, the Hammill team continues to work toward our ultimate goal of restoring patients’ quality of life.

This past year, we also studied how professional sports can affect athletes’ health over time. We analyzed MLB pitchers and catchers frequent elbow and shoulder injuries, specific warm-up routines to reduce injuries in youth FIFA programs, and new NFL helmet rules to minimize head, neck, and spinal injuries. Our team has worked closely with doctors and researchers to study these issues and design customized solutions for professional athletes and everyday patients alike.

Finally, in a push to give back to the industry we love, we proudly celebrated this year’s National Manufacturing Day (MFG Day). On this day — and other every day — we aim to revitalize the industry’s outdated reputation by educating the public on cutting-edge technology and exciting career opportunities. The sophisticated medical device laboratory here at Hammill is a perfect example of just how far modern-day manufacturing has come from the dirty shop floors of the past.

We would like to thank all of our customers for helping to make 2016 such an exciting, productive year, and we look forward to kicking off a successful 2017 together. From all of us at Hammill, happy holidays, and have a safe and healthy new year!

The medical world never sleeps! Continue to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest updates in the company and within our industry!

What is National Manufacturing Day?

As the manufacturing sector continues to grow and develop, manufacturers continue to seek ways to further educate the public on the amazing new opportunities that are presenting themselves. A good deal of the American public still has misconceptions about manufacturing, the careers that are available, and the conditions of manufacturing – in fact, studies earlier this year showed that up to 50% up respondents had a view of manufacturing that conflicts with the reality of it. One of the best ways manufacturers have found to help dispel these myths is through the annual National Manufacturing Day celebrations and events.

What is National Manufacturing Day?

National Manufacturing Day is a day that has been selected for companies and community organizations to work together to plan events that are targeted at inspiring a new generation of manufacturers. It is a coordinated effort aimed at addressing misperceptions of manufacturing, through cooperation with schools and manufacturers opening their doors to the public. Manufacturing Day addresses:

  • nmd-logo-oct-2016The shortage of skilled manufacturers
  • The public image of manufacturing overall
  • Concerns and challenges facing individual manufacturing sectors and the industry as a whole
  • Interaction with the local community

Officially occurring on the first Friday of October – this year, on October 7th – the partners behind Manufacturing Day also like to stress that it can really be any day of the year. Developing future talent for the industry and working with the community should be an ongoing concern, and while most events will be on the 7th, many manufacturers and technical schools may hold events in the days surrounding it, if it is better for them and the potential workers they will host.

Hammill’s Involvement

Here at Hammill, we appreciate how Manufacturing Day demonstrates to communities that manufacturing like ours is a great career for the future. As a manufacturer of medical devices, our facility may seem more like a laboratory than the manufacturing of your father’s days. Innovative, clean, technologically advanced – a far cry from dirty, manual, back-breaking work some people envision. Our family-owned-and-operated business, ISO accredited and registered with the FDA, supplies implants and surgical instruments to a number of medical fields.

So if you are interested in a new product, a product we’ve made in the past, or are interested in learning more about apprenticeship and employment at Hammill Medical, contact us today for more information!

Implants in PEEK Performance

Orthopedic and spinal technologies are evolving at a rapid pace. Today’s procedures are advancing patient care and improving recovery time substantially. Minimally invasive surgeries, outpatient procedures, and robotics are making joint replacement procedures easier for everyone. The options in implant technology and advances in materials have improved dramatically, and better outcomes are seen by many patients.

PEEK, an organic polymer thermoplastic polyetheretherketone PEEK Image Aug. 2016material, is one of the most successful materials. It is widely used in orthopedic implants. PEEK was originally developed by the U.S. aerospace industry 40 years ago for use in high-load, high-temperature applications. A highly pure grade of PEEK was developed in the late 1990s. This implantable material was embraced by the medical community for use in implantable devices.

The mechanical properties of PEEK are similar to bone, making it the ideal material for orthopedic/spinal implants. It is flexible and biocompatible, allowing the implant to promote bone regeneration by flexing and exercising the surrounding bone. Biocompatibility in load bearing implants is extremely valuable for the long-term success of spinal surgeries. PEEK implants improve biocompatibility with a surface consisting of tiny pits measuring 120 nanometers in diameter. Because these pits encourage new bone cell growth, a strong bond is created between the bone and the implant.

The Industry is currently exploring options of combining PEEK implants with coatings to further improve bone growth. Titanium coatings have shown increased cell adhesion, and research is beginning to see if an aluminum coating could be beneficial. At Hammill, we are well aware of the benefits of implants coated with Titanium. Our capabilities enable us to produce a wide variety of orthopedic PEEK implants that can be coated with titanium. In addition, we manufacture a two-piece insert that has PEEK on one side and titanium on the other. The characteristics of these two materials combine to improve strength and healing; pedicle and spinal screws constructed with titanium offer the strength required in load bearing applications while PEEK brings additional biocompatibility.

The enormous research and development of new implant materials and technologies are driving the market forward. Our goal, as a leading member of the medical device community, is to restore a patient’s quality of life. PEEK, titanium, and other materials that Hammill Medical works with on a daily basis help achieve that goal. It is our expertise in engineering, design, and manufacturing that make us a leader in the implant market. Let us help you bring your orthopedic or spinal implant component to market! Contact us today!

Annual Checkup on the Medical Device Industry

The technologies making up the medical device industry are March 2016 Blog Imageevolving rapidly. The Senate just passed a group of bills in an effort to speed up medical device approvals by the FDA. With the suspension of the medical device tax, the industry is set for immediate expansion and growth in developing new devices, processes, and tools.

Opening up legislation to improve development and deployment of innovative ideas can lead to better healthcare and well-being. Futurist and innovator Ray Kurzweil recently presented a talk on the future of healthcare at MD&W West in Anaheim, CA. He is the inventor of many advances such as optical character recognition and text-to-speech synthesis that enables a computer to read a book aloud, alongside the first charge-coupled device flatbed scanner. At age 14 he wrote a paper about his theory of the neocortex, a part of the brain that is involved in higher functions. His correspondence with MIT professor Marvin Minsky led to a mentorship and the study of computer science.

Kurzweil continues to write about technology and its impact on our future. He believes that the sequencing of the human genome has transitioned the practice of medicine into an information technology and it will follow a growth curve that is similar to other technology sectors. Genome information is leading to research into gene manipulation, turning them on and off, to influence biology and change how the body works.

Combining DNA and nanobots are the latest in cutting-edge mechanisms for curing diseases. Reminding us a little of sci-fi classic Fantastic Voyage, nanobots are undergoing human tests to see if they can target cancer cells to deliver drugs directly. If this advancement is successful nanobots may be able to cure disease and keep the body in proper balance, reversing aging and give us longer lives.

Curing disease is the basis of all medicine and new efforts are being developed each day. The scientists, researchers, and futurists, like Kurzweil, will be bringing us original ideas and resolutions beyond anything we currently know or have in the field. Continue to follow our blog for recent developments in medical manufacturing. We will keep you up to date on the latest innovations and solutions impacting the industry today.

The Year That Was: 2015

It’s hard to believe that we have come to the end of another year. Medical manufacturing is an ever-evolving industry that keeps us quite busy. There really isn’t a dull moment for the folks at Hammill Medical as we continue to produce the highest quality hip, knee, spine, and orthopedic implants.

We have seen tremendous advances in the medical field with research into new healthcare technologies and a renewed focus on STEM education and careers. All of the aforementioned topics affect our company, our products, and the companies we work with.

We feel that staying on top of industry highlights and developments improves our knowledge and ability to meet the ever-changing needs of this fast-paced industry. Our blog has been a forum where we share important ideas and events in the medical devices field. The topics we have covered focus on state-of-the-art devices and how they affect healthcare, issues and technologies in the manufacturing industry, and physical changes associated with some of these technologies.

As we say goodbye to 2015 we’d like to thank all of you who have contributed to Hammill’s success and look forward to more of the same in 2016.

Happy Holidays!