Minnesota Medtech Week: What You Can't Miss

Minnesota Medtech Week this November is turning out to be a major medical device industry event. Here are five highlights from the Minneapolis conference and expo.

Chris Newmarker

Minneapolis
(Credit: Wikimedia Commons / PhotosByJeremiah)

UBM Canon’s annual MD&M Minneapolis is combining for the first time with LifeScience Alley to create Minnesota Medtech Week—a premier medical device conference for one of the largest medical device hubs in the United States.

Running November 4 to 5 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, the event’s educational sessions will draw on the expertise of more than 50 top speakers from health industry giants including Boston Scientific, 3M, Medtronic, United Healthcare, Olympus, St. Jude Medical, and more. The Expo will feature over 1000 medtech suppliers of the latest technologies, materials, and services.

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Here are five things you might want to check out at the event:

1. Expanded Offerings

MD&M Minneapolis has long been co-located with MinnPack and its focus on final packaging. But this year’s expanded event will also feature UBM Canon’s Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis, ATX Minneapolis (automation technology), PLASTEC Minneapolis (plastics), and Quality Expo. UBM Canon (which is Qmed/MPMN’s parent) is broadening the scope of the event further by bringing in the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) for embedded systems hardware, software, and firmware developers.

2. Find Out about Market Access and Patient Engagement

The morning keynote speeches on Thursday, November 5, will examine the important topics of market access and patient engagement. Speakers include Brett Edelson, vice president of Medicaid product at health insurer United Healthcare; Kelly Macken-Marble, president of population health and ambulatory services at major Twin Cities health provider North Memorial Health Care; and Population Health & Ambulatory Services; and Shawn Carlson, U.S. Director of market access for respiratory care at Hill-Rom.

3. Explore the Expo Floor

With more than 1000 medtech suppliers, the Expo floor might look like a jungle. So stop by Center Stage and take advantage of a floor tour, including the Minnesota Medtech Week Innovation Prize tour at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 4. The Innovation Prize tour, which will be led by Qmed/MPMN senior editor Chris Newmarker, will highlight a handful of exhibitors touting the newest and most innovative medical device technologies, materials, and services at the Expo. At the end of the tour, you’ll be able to vote for the prize winner.

4. Design Innovation Workshop

Insight Product Development (Chicago) has been driving client innovation for more than 25 years. Spend a full day with Insight staff on Wednesday, November 4, and learn how to unlock innovation in your own device products. Major subjects it the Design Innovation Workshop include opportunity identification and assessment, making opportunities actionable, and driving commercial success by de-risking innovation.

5. Internet of Things

The IoT could revolutionize healthcare by making treatments smarter and better tailored to the needs of individual patients, curbing medical errors in the process. It also stands to provide advances to the way costly chronic conditions including heart diseases and diabetes are monitored. A daylong conference track on Thursday, November 5, will explore the building blocks needed for IoT to meet its full potential. Michael Nowak, principal RF electrical engineer at Medtronic Neuromodulation, will chair the track. Talks include Bill Saltzstein, president of Code Blue Consulting, discussing how to move the needle on cost efficiency and patient engagement; and Roozbeh Ghaffari, PhD, co-founder and vice president of technology at flexible electronics pioneer MC10, on the next generation of medical device sensors. Jason Lu, research and development engineer at 7-Sigma Inc., will talk about the company’s stretchable membrane “soft skin” technology.

6. Design Innovation for 21st Century Medtech

On Wednesday, November 4, Boston Scientific co-founder John Abele will deliver a keynote on "Healthcare's New Patient Value Proposition And The Role Of Technology." The talk is part of a conference track on "Design Innovation for 21st Century Business" that includes everything from merging product and process development roles (courtesy of Boston Scientific R&D fellow Dan Foster) to innovating with materials (courtesy of Nikhil Murdeshwar, principal research engineer at Olympus). 

7. How 3-D Printing Could Revolutionize the Manufacturing Process

Irene Healey is the founder and CEO of New Attitude and the inventor of the New Attitude Breast Prosthesis. Her company provides patients with the opportunity to partner in the design of their custom 3-D printed prosthetic device. Join Healey for a keynote on the morning of Thursday, November 5, about how 3-D printed prosthetics can better people's lives. And then stick around for a full day of 3-D printing programing. Highlights include a talk from Girish Wable, advanced technology project manager at Jabil (St. Petersburg, FL), about 3-D printed electronic components such as biomedical sensor antennas. Bret Bjerken, materials business unit program manager at Stratasys (Eden Prairie, MN) will provide insights on selecting the right materials for additive manufacturing. And Todd Pietila, business development manager at Meterialise, will discuss how the company's HeartPrint modelling technology is transforming patient care and saving lives. 

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

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