Before I started working on a medical device, I couldn't fathom how much impact the medical device industry has on the most important moments of our lives. I assumed, I guess, that devices were pursued by research teams focused on tackling common challenges, and didn't really think through the economics or politics of medical device innovation and manufacturing and how those impact the health of those I love.
And it wasn't until I had the pleasure of attending AdvaMed - the annual conference or 'general assembly' of medical device manufacturers in America (and many worldwide, too), which I was able to attend thanks to a grant by the ROI program of the Schusterman Family Foundation - that I truly understood how much I still have to learn.
AdvaMed in 2013 was a three-day long conference packed to the gills with sessions, workshops, Q&A opportunities, and exhibits. It included a track I presented on, for new companies, and held larger plenaries where the industry leaders reviewed current challenges to the field and shared their thoughts and strategies for dealing with them.
I was primarily struck by the spirit of cooperation that pervaded the conference. Executives from major manufacturers, all of whom were competing for market share, openly discussed on stage their strategies and their interest and willingness to work with one another to support innovation in key areas - even investing in the same early stage companies to explore new technologies. More, as the global population gains access to information and resources, these competitors are sharing insights and lessons for how to work in previously impossible to reach locations, and in doing so building a win-win outcome that no single effort could achieve on its own.
I did hope to hear more at the conference about the humanistic motivations of these efforts, about how life itself depends on medical device innovation and not new location-based gaming apps or neat internet-TV gadgets, but I guess that will have to happen in another year. And hopefully, I'll be there next year, too, to share the progress we've made at MobileOCT thanks to the conversations I had the luck to have while at AdvaMed this year.
Thank you to the AdvaMed team for awarding MobileOCT a spot on the coveted presentations roster, and for the ROI Community for the scholarship that enabled me to attend.
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