Medical device commercialization insightsParticipant’s takeaways from 2019 Medical Device Playbook

Medical Device Playbook was conceived as a way to inspire entrepreneurship and connect the many players in the Medical Device world. In seven words, I would describe this as an “informative and inspirational storytelling event, great people”.
Medtech innovators and investors described their first-hand commercialization, partnership, regulatory, and financing experiences. My key medical device commercialization insights:

  1. Serial entrepreneurship wins. Over the course of their careers, most of the speakers developed or invested in many innovations. Not all of their initiatives were successful, however they were able to refine their approach with each subsequent effort.
  2. Listen to the market. Before starting, determine what the paying customer needs now and quantify the market. Identify appropriate reimbursement pathways, sales processes, payment systems or billing codes early in the process.
  3. Never under-estimate the value of a diverse team. This lesson was a constant throughout the day. Other lessons: set clear team expectations from the start and align incentives appropriately.
  4. Board members and investors are your strongest supporters. It’s important to remember that they are business partners and not your BFs (best friends).
  5. There are multiple routes to finance your initiative. Each presents risks and benefits, so seek advice to help you pick the ones that best serve your company.
  6. Poke the FDA bear. Engage with the FDA early, ask them lots of questions to make sure that you understand their goals and time lines. Later, ask them more questions to make sure that they haven’t missed any of your key submission elements. Expect the unexpected and be prepared to wait.

Scott Phillips, CEO of StarFish Medical, concluded the day with an in-depth analysis of 40 different Medtech companies, to unlock the secrets of maximizing founder and investor value through their medical device commercialization insights. Speakers were generous (and funny!) in sharing their key lessons learned along the way. The May 23 event was the fifth Playbook held in Vancouver and the ninth event overall. Find a list of speakers and topics here.

My final verdict? Insightful stories + awesome networking = inspiration! I will be the first to sign up for next year’s event.

Chrystal Palaty PhD is the principal consultant at Metaphase Health Research Consulting Inc. She has worked as a medical/technical writer for the last 13 years, specializing in oncology.


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