MedTech community converges at DeviceTalks
16 May 2023
DeviceTalks Boston is only in its second year and yet has hit its stride as a premium event within the medical device industry. Bringing together key players from the large strategics, industry-leading device developers, and a full selection of startups, the conference has quickly become an important event in connecting the MedTech community. Springboard was there this year and with a mixture of keynote interviews, lectures, and panel discussions the conversations were flowing—here are some highlights.
DeviceTalks hit the ground running with its keynote from Tom Polen (CEO, BD). Sharing BD’s culture of celebration and the challenges and opportunities of becoming CEO before the COVID pandemic, Tom gave an impressive account of how a company founded in 1987 could still be agile enough to meet the demands of COVID vaccinations. Later in the day, we heard from Mike Mahoney (CEO, Boston Scientific) on how he was told not to take the CEO role but did anyway. He talked about creating a culture to empower decision-making and sticking to their lane (letting intuitive do the robotics), ultimately increasing Boston Scientifics market cap ten-fold across his tenure.
The conference agenda held a mixture of talks on materials engineering to drive innovation (Tim Laske, Medtronic), through integrated solutions in neurosurgical devices (David Talon, Stryker), all the way to IP licencing and supplier selection. Of notable mention, a panel on sustainability led by Ron Kurz (GM, Cannon Virginia) drove significant audience participation despite it being one of the last sessions of the conference. The medical industry is one of the world’s largest pollutants but is also one of the slowest to adopt sustainability practices. It was clear from the panel that industry-wide cooperation will be required to make impactful change.
Finally, MedTech innovator had an impressive line-up of startups. With the current economic uncertainty and large number of layoffs in the industry this year there are growing concerns about potential investment and the follow-up impact on innovation. There were many contrasting opinions at the conference but with the industry leaders still actively pursuing M&A’s, it seems the money is still there for the right product.
Written by Joe Batley, Senior Physicist