The Best Innovations of 2007 in Medicine

The R & D Magazine asked some researchers from around the world to choose and present the best innovations of 2007 at the forefront of technology.

The editors of R&D Magazine are proud to announce the winners of the 45th Annual R&D 100 Awards. This annual competition recognizes the best in innovation—on a global scale. Indeed, the products and technologies highlighted on the following pages are among the most innovative ideas from today’s technology powerhouses in academia, government, and industry, worldwide.

Here is my selection from the field of medicine:

  • Active Protection System is a unique protective textile that instantly becomes rigid upon impact, but remains flexible and breathable when protection is not required. The System consists of a three-dimensional spacer fabric treated with a silicone coating. Versatile, durable and lightweight, it can be incorporated directly into a wide range of products to provide unprecedented levels of safety.


  • The INSORB® Subcuticular Skin Stapler is designed to combine the cosmetic result of absorbable sutures with the rapid closure times associated with metal skin staplers, while eliminating the need for metal staple removal post-operatively.


  • VaxDesign is an emerging biotechnology company that combines immunology with engineering to find elegant, practical solutions to complex biological problems. They develop in vitro assays of the human immune system that are functionally equivalent to the human immune system.


  • The pneumothorax detector system consists of two components. A control module provides power for the circuitry and MIR sensor, and also houses a processing system to analyze incoming data and detect the presence or absence of a pneumothorax. A probe unit is connected to the main control module and an antenna for sending out the MIR pulse, and detecting the reflected signal. Novel, high speed data acquisition and processing electronics in the control module acquire the data in real time.


  • Ultra-High-Resolution Mammography System (UHRMS) that equips doctors with a low-cost, high-quality alternative to digital radiography (currently the most popular mammographic technology at leading hospitals).


  • Researchers don’t necessarily have to attend a meeting in person to get something out of it. Virtual conferences are a growing trend; they have recently been held on topics including nanoscale structures, animal diseases, amphibian conservation, and climate change. One of the largest such events is the Virtual Conference on Genomics and Bioinformatics (VCGB)… Attendees to VCGB gather at local nodes linked together using Access Grid, a virtual collaboration system developed at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. (Science)


Don’t hesitate to tell us if you find better ones.