The medical device industry has a number of important conferences designed to showcase the best in new and future technology, and MD&M and BIOMEDevice are the two largest on the North America event calendar.

Pandemic permitting, both of these events are expected to run later on in the year in their usual venues.

But on top of this, the parent of both brands, Informa, is putting on an extra event – MD&M and BIOMEDevice – for two days (April 6 and 7) next month.

A free pass enables access to 42 sessions, as well as exhibitor profiles and networking activities, whereas the paid alternative includes 10 technical educational sessions, exclusive round tables, a mixology class as well as other exclusive networking sessions.

The conference will take place virtually, with session topics ranging from additive manufacturing to surgical robotics.

We caught up with the MD&M and BIOMEDevice group event director Hayley Haggarty (HH) to find out more.


MD&M and BIOMEDevice Q&A:

What was the rationale behind combining the MD&M and BIOMEDevice conferences and did the disruption caused to live events by Covid-19 factor into the decision?

HH: Historically, MD&M has served the larger medical manufacturing industry while BIOMEDevice has geared towards regional medtech hubs. We wanted to provide a re-imagined expo and conference virtual experience of the two brands combined where attendees could meet suppliers, attend sessions, and network, without having to wait to attend a live event.

What can attendees expect to be different now that these two conferences have been merged for a virtual event?

HH: Attendees can expect the event to be broader in scope as it merges two medical brands, including a range of topics such as 3D printing, smart manufacturing, surgical robotics, and digital health. The holistic offerings make this event a great fit for anyone in the medical sector.

Who is the event aimed at? Is it solely medical device manufacturers looking at ways to improve their process, or are there sessions aimed at clinical professionals looking to improve the suite of technology in their hospital too?

HH: Both! For our engineers and architects, there are sessions that address innovative applications of 3D printing, optimizing systems for life science devices, and design trends in wearables. We also have technical sessions such as analysing robotics and AI techniques in clinical practice as well as diving deep into X-ray processing and radiation modality change requirements.

A large component of conferences like this is networking – how have you ensured attendees will be able to network effectively when they can’t meet in person?

HH: Great question! The platform that will host this virtual event has an algorithm-driven matchmaking program to connect peers of similar interest. It was very important to us to have the AI technology assist our community in building relationships. All of the contacts made during the event can be exported to save for future use.

Covid-19 has interrupted medical device supply chains significantly since the pandemic started – are any of the sessions tailored towards understanding and strategising through this period of time?

HH: Without a doubt, Covid-19 has changed the trajectory of product development, an integral part of the supply chain process. Check out Learning From COVID: Driving a simulation-based culture from product ideation to production on Tuesday 4/6 and Climatic, Pandemic, Chaotic! Managing Supply Chain risk in turbulent times on Wednesday 4/7.

The demand for more compact medical devices with equal or better clinical performance than incumbent technologies is always strong in the marketplace – will attendees wishing to achieve this goal get an insight into the latest enabling manufacturing techniques?

HH: Yes, wearables and patient-operated devices are on the rise, urging designers to consider how clinicians and caregivers can responsibly put more care in a patient’s hands. Attendees can glean insight into technology-driven design trends and the future of home-healthcare products.

The quality of speakers on offer can be a major reason people attend an event in this industry – who do you have for attendees to get excited about?

HH: We have speakers from Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson, Toxikon, and Vanguard Health to name a few, which are all leading supplier companies in the medtech and biohealth space.

Conferences can be a welcome break from day-to-day work for industry professionals – are there any fun sessions for everyone to blow off some steam as they mull over information from the educational ones?

HH: Upgrade to a paid all-access pass to attend fun networking round table sessions—exclusively!