From September 23-25, the MedTech Conference gathered over 3,300 medtech professionals, researchers, patients, and patient advocates in Boston, MA. BioOhio and Ohio were definitely well represented, and helped make this AdvaMed‘s most successful event yet!

Joseph Berger, Battelle on Panel

Rolf Benirschke and Bill Walton

Judy Huang, 889 Global Solutions

BioOhio members Battelle, BioEnterprise, Eccrine Systems, GOJO, Hylant, J&J, R&Q, STATKING, and 889 Global Solutions,  along with Accenture, Axogen, Ischemia Care, MedSec, STERIS, and others made Ohio proud in the partnering area, or as an exhibitor, sponsor, or panel speaker.

Joseph Berger, Senior Vice President, Commercial Business, Battelle and BioOhio Board Member, moderated a fascinating panel (pictured above) on “Bridging the Commercial and Military Needs to Advance Medical Device Development.”  For companies with no government experience, several comments from the audience and panel suggested partnering with someone like Battelle, who knows government budgeting, contracting, and accounting, as a way to accelerate product development.

U.S.-China trade challenges, particularly supply chain worries, were presented by many panels throughout the week and member 889 Global Solutions was soaking in the most current strategies available.

Event Highlights

Inclusion and Diversity

Many comments from speakers addressed the need for more diversity and inclusion, talking about unconscious bias, gender equity and that companies, not just boards, must reflect society and the overall patient population.

Non-Drug, Device Approaches to Tackling the Opioid Crisis

Companies are developing non-drug approaches to tackling the prescription opioid crisis and stand to receive support from the likes of the NIH and FDA. Their efforts are two fold – addressing pure opioid use/abuse and separately, chronic pain. Ohio has a host of companies that have non-drug options addressing both pain management and addiction.

EtO Sterilization

Ethylene Oxide (EtO) sterilization of medical devices is facing a strong and evolving regulatory environment. One of the leading players in the world is Mentor-based STERIS and their President Walt Rosebrough, also AdvaMed & MDMA Board member, brought up this issue during a CEO Unplugged talk with B. Braun Chairman & CEO Caroll Neubauer. A separate packed room on EtO featured STERIS’ COO Dan Carestio.  The overall consensus was to keep the patient first, keep access to crucial, sterile devices open, and to have data lead regulatory decisions, not emotions or politics. Due to plants being taken offline by local regulators, the U.S. system is at full capacity for current products. Rash decisions would not only impact patient access but also stifle innovation as there is little room nor mechanism to add new products into the system, let alone test new products.

Inspirational Patients

There were also lighter and inspirational moments during The MedTech Conference. There was an ongoing Patient Story Stage, where attendees could listen to amazing journeys of hope and love.

Ohio has been fortunate to have NFL football great Rolf Benirschke work with many patients within our great state, and with BioOhio. Rolf’s third season as a placekicker in the NFL was cut short when he collapsed on a cross-country team flight while battling ulcerative colitis. It was Rolf’s faith, personal drive, family, and teammates that encouraged him through those darkest hours and aided in his triumphant and improbable return to the NFL. NBA superstar Bill Walton, who has had 38 surgeries, knows medtech inside and out, but his greatest challenge was overcoming stuttering.

Rolf and Bill tagged teamed two very comedic but incredibility powerful testimonies (picture above) about the value of technology and the team of physicians and caregivers it takes to move forward with hope. Bill said, “my greatest challenge and fear was speaking, now it has become your greatest nightmare, nobody can shut me up!”

The 2020 MedTech Conference will take place in Toronto on October 5-7. Learn more here. 

From left-right: BioOhio President & CEO John F. Lewis, Jr., Biocom President & CEO Joe Panetta, Bill Walton, AdvaMed President & CEO Scott Whitaker, and Rolf Benirschke

About AdvaMed

The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), is a trade association that leads the effort to advance medical technology in order to achieve healthier lives and healthier economies around the world. AdvaMed’s membership has reached over 400 members and more than 80 employees with a global presence in countries including Europe, India, China, Brazil, and Japan. AdvaMed’s member companies range from the largest to the smallest medical technology innovators and companies.The Association acts as the common voice for companies producing medical devices, diagnostic products and health information systems.