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The EMBS Chapter of the IEEE Ottawa Section was recognized as the Best Ottawa Chapter in 2008, 2010, 2014, 2019, and 2022 and received the Outstanding Chapter Award from IEEE EMBS in 2011!

Medical Device Instrumentation Needs and Test Strategies

Photo of Max Cornter

Max Cortner

President, IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society

September 21, 2018 14:00 - 16:00

Mackenzie Building Room 4359, Carleton University

Paid parking available on campus


Electronic medical devices challenge traditional test strategies in a number of ways. Heightened demand for quality and reliability for these life impacting electronic packages conflicts with constraints to testing including limited physical access and test times. Regulatory agencies define the boundaries of testing, but seldom provide real solutions. Current research is driving great technology which represents the frontier for successful strategies for both design validation testing and production quality control testing. Physiologic sensors make devices more effective, but are difficult to characterize and control. Lessons from battery and accelerometer testing suggest strategies for these advanced devices.

The technological boundaries of new sensors in future medical devices will be explored. Creating electronic systems that interface naturally with biological systems bidirectionally is challenging. There are now well known systems, such as pacemakers, which sense the discharge of nerves and provide nervous stimulation. Responding to and controlling the autonomous and enteric nerve systems will create nonpharmaceutical solutions to a large range of chronic conditions. Reliable, in vivo sensing of chemical, physical and electrical conditions is needed. For chronic conditions, a reliable biologic power system is required as well. The challenges of these trends are explored in search of ideas that can be turned into therapeutic devices.


Josephs Max Cortner earned a BSEE from Iowa State University and an MSEE from the University of Minnesota. After 18 years as a Test Engineer in defense division of Sperry Corporation, Max moved to the Cardiac Rhythm Management division of Guidant, Now the CRM Division of Boston Scientific. Boston Scientific CRM manufactures medical electronics including pacemakers and defibrillators. Max retired in 2016 as a Senior Fellow Engineer in Test Engineering, a group responsible for automated electronic testing of components, subassemblies and final product in manufacturing. He now consults in the areas of medical device and process validation testing.

As an active member of the IEEE Twin Cities Section since 1972, Max has held offices in the Computer Society including local Chapter Chair and Area Chair. He worked with a group of activists who organized and successfully ran a 5 year series of multi-week technical symposia covering hot topics such as computer graphics and artificial intelligence. Max was among the founders of the Twin Cities Chapter of the Instrument and Measurement Society. He helped organize numerous local test conferences and served as General Chair for the IEEE IMTC 1998. In 1999, he served on the committee of the IEEE Sections Congress, which was held in the Twin Cities. Max was Co-Chair of IEEE I2MTC held in Minneapolis in 2013. Having served as I2MTC Board Chair and VP of Education for the Instrumentation and Measurement (I&M) Society Administration Committee, he now serves as President of the I&M Society.

Last updated October 18, 2018

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