5 Highlights of MD&M West

Cutting-edge developments relevant to the medtech industry will be on display at the 30th annual MD&M West conference and expo, held February 10–12, 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center. 

MD&M West Anaheim
There was plenty of activity at the previous MD&M West at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The conference is exploring topics such as wireless product development, wearables, and 3-D printing. More than 70 expert speakers will participate in the event, which will include three keynote addresses, 15 panel discussions, eight interactive workshops, and 35 interactive presentations.

And the hundreds of exhibitors will give attendees a glimpse into latest industry innovations and emerging technologies, including in such areas as manufacturing equipment, contract manufacturing, design services, electronic components, and medical-grade materials.

Here are five of the major highlights of the event:

1. Meet One of the Top Mobile Health Pioneers

Former Google X director Babak Parviz, PhD, helped create Google Glass and played an important role when it came to Google’s work on glucose-reading contact lenses—a technology that Novartis has now licensed for further development. Now a vice president at Amazon, it seems a pretty good bet that he will help the online retail and technology giant accomplish more in the digital health space. Check out Parviz opening up the conference with his Tuesday, February 10, morning keynote address, “Computers We Can Wear.” Parviz will provide a look into the current and future wearable technologies taking hold of the medical device and healthcare industries.

2. Discover the Best in Medtech

Back at MD&M West in 2015, the Golden Mousetrap Awards recognize innovation in the development of new products in automation, electronics, materials, and design tools. The Tuesday evening awards ceremony and reception will include a Lifetime Achievement Award for Parviz. Design News will announce winners in 16 tech categories, in addition to the Rising Engineering Star, and Gadget Freak of the Year. The event will be hosted by Ben Heck from Element14’s The Ben Heck Show.

3. Explore 3-D Printing’s Potential

Find out about the latest about the 3-D printing technology and its ability to revolutionize the medical device industry at MD&M West. Andy Christensen, vice president of Personalized Surgery and Medical Devices at 3D Systems Corp., will deliver a keynote address on Wednesday, February 11, on “The Potential of a New-3D Printing Technology That Will Transform the Healthcare Industry.”Other conference 3-D printing highlights include Scott DeFelice,  president and CEO of Oxford Performance Materials, who will tout advances in 3-D printing scaffolds for skeletal reconstruction. DeFelice will be joined by other 3-D printing experts from Stryker, Orchid Orthopedics Solutions, FDA, and Materialize. And don’t forget Stratasys and other 3-D printing-related exhibitors on the show floor.

4. Discovering Secrets from the Design Masters

Palo Alto, CA–based IDEO has 18 Medical Design Excellence Awards to its name and will have plenty of design expertise to share during a one-day design workshop on Wednesday, February 11, that will help participants better uncover unmet user needs, create novel design solutions, and unlock the potential of brainstorming. The interactive workshop will be led by Brian Mason, senior lead within IDEO's Health & Wellness practice, and will take participants step-by-step through design research and inspiration, ideation and prototyping, and innovation thought leadership.

Looking for more? Come back Thursday, February 12, for a one-day Innovation in Design bootcamp that will be kicked off with a keynote from Kyle Locke, director of design at Google. Discussions through the day will include talks from an impressive array of experts including Christine Furstoss, global technology director at GE; Tom Kramer, president of Kablooe Design; Nias Puthenveettil, director of the chief technology office at Siemens Healthcare; Navrina Singh, head of the Qualcomm ImpaQt Innovation Program; and Vishal Gupta, vice president and general manager of Global Internet of Everything Solutions & Services at Cisco. 

5. FDA Representatives Consider Wireless, Warning Letters, and More

None of the innovations touted at the conference and expo will really matter if they don’t receive FDA approval. It could be advantageous to check out a talk from FDA senior policy advisor Bakul Patel, who will discuss integrating medical devices into an “interconnected wireless ecosystem.” The discussion will be followed by a panel debate with top wireless experts at Covidien, Dexcom, Westech Medical Technologies, and Medtronic.

There will also be a talk from FDA biomedical engineer Jessica Paulsen about avoiding warning letters, submission reviews, and UDI updates. 

Chris Newmarker is senior editor of Qmed and MPMN. Follow him on Twitter at @newmarker.

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