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National Instruments to Further Medical Device Development With Grants in 2009
Date:2/9/2009

Software and Training Grants Help Companies Design, Prototype and Deploy Medical Devices Faster and More Cost-Efficiently

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 9, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- National Instruments (Nasdaq: NATI) today announced it will continue its investment to further medical device development by offering software and training grants in 2009. As the global economic climate tightens, the medical device industry continues to thrive. A recent study of more than 1,000 medical device manufacturers by medical device consulting firm Emergo Group reported 61 percent of respondents expect sales for their companies to increase in 2009. To help medical device manufacturers meet this demand, NI is accepting applications for the 2009 Medical Device Grant Program, which provides start-up assistance for those who are interested in using NI hardware as a component of their medical devices.

Because many of the innovative advances in medical technology over the past 20 years have been developed by small, entrepreneurial medical technology companies, National Instruments has created a grant program that awards up to $25,000 USD in software and services to start-up medical device companies that are evaluating NI hardware as a component of their devices. The goal of the grant program is to help start-up companies reduce the cost and complexity of development by providing them with technology such as the easy-to-use NI LabVIEW graphical system design platform. NI is accepting applications for the grant program until Nov. 30.

In 2008, National Instruments granted more than $340,000 in software and training to 21 medical device developers. Engineers use NI hardware and software solutions for medical devices to save time and money during medical device design, prototype and deployment.

Spend Time on Treatment, Not Low-Level Design

Using NI hardware and software, domain experts can automate traditionally low-level implementation tasks with LabVIEW and spend more time researching science and developing treatments. For example, with an arsenal of embedded electronics, 2008 grant recipient Quark Cybernetics and Fundamental Research Laboratories is using LabVIEW and NI hardware to create an advanced electrocardiogram, which aims to predict cardiac pathologies using advanced mathematical algorithms.

"With traditional tools, we could do data processing, but it is tedious and time-consuming," said Suraj Kamal, an engineer from Quark, a privately held company focusing on development-oriented research in several science and technology domains. "With the LabVIEW graphical programming environment, there are a wide variety of pre-built toolsets like filters, wavelet tools, etc. - the time frame for development is far shorter."

Prototype Quickly to Save Time and Money, Gain Venture Capital

In addition, biomedical engineers and physicians can create prototypes quickly with tightly integrated NI hardware and software. A quick, functional prototype can help a medical device development company create its product before its competitors and have a better chance of receiving subsequent rounds of venture capital funding. Niveus Medical Inc. applied and received a grant from NI in 2008 to realize this benefit with LabVIEW graphical programming.

"NI hardware and software will accelerate the process of design iteration during the prototyping phase, allowing for a faster path to market," said Dr. Brian J. Fahey of Niveus Medical, a company dedicated to improving the standard of care for critically ill patients. "A deep understanding of the constraints and working conditions in this unique environment has enabled the development of focused product designs that will have a significant impact on patient care."

Deploy High-Accuracy, High-Performance Devices

The signals generated by the human body are often so small that high analog precision is necessary for accurate medical device development. With measurement products from NI, physicians and biomedical engineers can perform precise data acquisition. The 2008 grant recipient, ST Cardio Technologies, used NI data acquisition products to deploy a cardiac stimulator for traditional electrophysiology and cardiac catheterization labs.

"ST Cardio Technologies selected National Instruments technology to enable rapid development and evaluation of advanced electrophysiological stimulation protocols in research settings coupled with the ability to quickly develop remote diagnostics capabilities for our deployed systems," said Bill Abboud, founder and CEO of ST Cardio, a company that develops cardiac stimulators for the field of electrophysiology. "ST Cardio Technologies' cardiac stimulator is easy to learn and operate, and its programmable architecture created with NI hardware and software allows for updating the system through software as new, leading-edge protocols are developed."

Readers can visit www.ni.com/medical to learn more about these medical device initiatives, apply for the grant program, read case studies and download webcasts.

About National Instruments

National Instruments (www.ni.com) is transforming the way engineers and scientists design, prototype and deploy systems for measurement, automation and embedded applications. NI empowers customers with off-the-shelf software such as NI LabVIEW and modular cost-effective hardware and sells to a broad base of more than 25,000 different companies worldwide, with no one customer representing more than 3 percent of revenue and no one industry representing more than 10 percent of revenue. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 5,000 employees and direct operations in more than 40 countries. For the past 10 years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America. Readers can obtain investment information from the company's investor relations department by calling (512) 683-5090, e-mailing nati@ni.com or visiting www.ni.com/nati.

LabVIEW, National Instruments, NI and ni.com are trademarks of National Instruments. Other product and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

    Editor Contact:  Hilary Marchbanks, (512) 683-5937
    Reader Contact:  Ernest Martinez, (800) 258-7022


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