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Paul Nickelsberg, President of Orchid Technologies featured in MassDevice Journal

Jun 05, 2009

According to MassDevice, Chase Sebor faced the audience and spread his arms wide like a hockey goalie.

"You're out in front of the goal and you just want the puck to hit you," he said, eliciting laughter.

The demonstration wasn't just comic relief. Sebor, the co-founder of Venture Technologies in North Billerica, was making a point about medical device failure. Errors, he said, are treasures.

"You want to detect them, detect them, detect them," he said. "You want a culture, in the engineering process, in which you celebrate errors."

That brought him to the hockey analogy (a friend is a goalie).

"You're trying to get your parts of the body in the way of these errors," said Sebor, an embedded software design engineer and manager. "So you can feel it. If you don't expose yourself to them and draw them out, you'll never get enough of them."

The key is to identify and address errors early, thus avoiding disaster.

But how do you do that effectively? Wednesday night, about 150 people gathered at the Bay Colony Corporate Center in Waltham for a panel discussion that aimed to answer the question.

"Why devices fail and what you need to do to prevent it from happening," sponsored by the Medical Development Group, featured three speakers; Sebor, Paul Nickelsberg, president and CTO of Orchid Technologies in Maynard and Brian Stonecipher, a human factors engineer at Continuum in Newton.

Devices fail. That much is obvious. According to Nickelsberg's presentation, the Food & Drug Association recalled 62 medical devices from January 2006 through May 2009. Nine of those (14.5 percent) were automated external defibrillators.

The reasons for the recall of one particular AED, which are available on the FDA's website, included but weren't limited to voice prompt problems, battery errors, not being able to find the shock button and problems finding the on/off button.

To read more about this article visit http://www.massdevice.com/news/failure-launch.

For more information on medical device design visit Orchid Technologies at http://www.orchid-tech.com. or contact Paul Nickelsberg at 978-461-2000 X111.

# # #

About Orchid Technologies Engineering and Consulting, Inc.

Orchid develops custom electronic products for OEM's. Orchid has successfully completed hundreds of electronic product designs. Orchid offers its clients a skillful blend of innovative hardware and software design with practical production expertise. Orchid has designed high-performing custom analog amplifiers, data acquisition systems, and DSP computer hardware with rapid design cycles. Visit Orchid Technologies' website http://www.orchid-tech.com for recent design projects. For additional information contact Paul Nickelsberg, President of Orchid Technologies at 978-461-2000 X111.

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