#AdvaMed2011: Where the Key MedTech Players Met

October 4th, 2011
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If you read Ken Walz’s recent post based upon his interview with AdvaMed Conference Producer Ray Briscuso, you already know that AdvaMed 2011 – bringing together more than 1,500 key MedTech executives from companies in every sector of the industry – promised to be an important conference, exhibition and partnering event for medical device, diagnostic and health information companies. Ken attended the conference – as did I – with the intent of absorbing all we could, sharing highlights, and reporting back via this blog.
From Ken’s perspective, one of the major themes permeating the remarks of many AdvaMed 2011 presenters was UNCERTAINTY. “While speakers referred to various causes for the uncertainty facing the MedTech industry, most of them tied it back to federal laws impacting health care and the potential for federal budget cutting to constrain the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s ability to rapidly approve new devices and diagnostic tools,” he said.
For more on what some presenters and attendees had to say during and about the conference, read on:
Excerpts from Remarks Given by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:


“For decades, the medical device industry has been a shining example of American innovation and creativity. Your products – from coronary stents to dialysis technology to cutting edge imaging – have played a key role in adding 30 years to the life of the average American over the last century. Our Department is committed to creating an environment where you can continue to innovate, improve lives, and create jobs.”


“As we look to the future, the medical device industry and the federal government share a vision of innovation unleashed. And the single most important thing the Food and Drug Administration can do to help make that vision a reality is to ensure the timely approval of safe and effective medical devices.”


Highlights from “CEOs Unplugged” Panel on Policy & Advocacy:
Jim Mazzo, President, Abbott Medical Optics; SVP, Abbott
On state of MedTech industry: “We are fortunate to be a part of this industry in this country… Recognize that there are many positives in spite of the issues we are facing and don’t get caught up in the uncertainties. We’re being recognized as an industry that is going to provide jobs and is going to provide life-saving technologies.”
Steve Ubl, President & CEO, AdvaMed:
On the FDA 510(k) Process: “The program is fundamentally sound. AdvaMed is proud of our policy work in this arena and we feel we are making solid progress in our discussions with the FDA.”
On the Medical Device Tax, healthcare reform, and other policy issues that may impact U.S. innovation: “The device industry is an engine of medical and economic progress… We can lead the way in innovation as long as we continue to have incentives for research and development.”


Mike Mussallem, Chairman & CEO, Edwards Lifesciences Corporation:
On state of MedTech industry: “The aging population, technological innovations, and growth in the emerging world are the wind beneath this industry’s wings.”


Attendee comments:
“This conference isn’t about a ‘Wow, gee’ factor for any particular technology’s potential. It’s more about the direction in which the industry as a whole is headed and where or how technologies will fit within.”
­– Paul Cronin, Business Development Manager, Medical Technologies Division, IDA Ireland (Twitter: @idaireland)


“Our participation at this year’s conference is the beginning of a broader partnership between the AdvaMed and AUTM and gave us an opportunity to talk about our global tech portal, which will be available early next year. It will allow universities to post information on their technologies available for licensing and for companies to search the database for free. We believe it will provide good match ups between university technologies and the companies interested in them.”
– Vicki L. Loise, Executive Director, Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) (Twitter: @autm_network)


“The partnering forum at AdvaMed2011 was awesome – it was what brought us to the conference. For our business, partnering discussions allow for finding common goals and for great use of limited resources. These discussions are much more effective for us than simply having an exhibit booth. In particular, we appreciated the opportunity to connect with large diagnostic companies like Qiagen, J&J and Roche.”
Montserrat Capdevila, Director of Sales/Marketing, International Relations, Johns Hopkins University Tech Transfer (Twitter: @JHUTechTransfer)
Obviously, these are but a sampling of the takeaways, highlights and industry insights from the AdvaMed 2011 conference. Were you in attendance? What were your key learnings? Add your comments below.

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About the Author:

Popper and Company takes a comprehensive approach to helping our clients leverage information to improve the efficiency of healthcare delivery. We’re a team of diverse professionals – physician entrepreneurs across multiple disciplines, engineers, scientists, and clinicians – each with a unique perspective and problem-solving capabilities.