11 Things to Do at MD&M West

If you’re heading to Anaheim, CA, for the world's largest annual medtech expo and conference February 7–9, 2017, be sure to check out these goings-on at the event.

January 13, 2017

6 Min Read
11 Things to Do at MD&M West

If you're heading to Anaheim, CA, for the world's largest annual medtech expo and conference February 7-9, 2017, be sure to check out these goings-on at the event.

Jamie Hartford

Next month, medical device professionals from across the country will converge in sunny Southern California to attend Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West, the world's largest annual medtech event.

For more than three decades, the MD&M West expo and conference has united the industry's top innovators with cutting-edge suppliers and forward-thinking influencers to help speed their medical device products to market. This year's event will bring together more than 20,000 engineers and executives for three days of networking and learning.

Here are 11 things you won't want to miss at the event.

Meet a MythBuster

Ever wonder if gummy bears could be used to fuel a rocket or whether your favorite Hollywood stunts could actually happen in real life? So does Jamie Hyneman, and he's on a mission to find out the answers. As co-host of the hit Discovery Channel show MythBusters, Hyneman subjects scenarios recounted in movies and rumor to the scientific method to determine their feasibility. The engineer and special effects expert has blown up more than his share of stuff and destroyed countless vehicles, all in the pursuit of truth. Hear him talk about innovation, engineering, and busting myths in a fireside-chat-style keynote at 12:00 p.m. on February 7.

Check Out a BattleBot

Bradley Hanstad is a mechanical engineer who builds props for movies and TV by day and moonlights designing robots built for destruction. Hanstad and his crew, known as Team Think Tank, competed on season 2 of the hit television show BattleBots, which pits remote-controlled armed machines against one another to see which can make it out of the arena in (mostly) one piece. MD&M West attendees can see Hanstad's robot, known as Bad Kitty, on display and hear him talk about his BattleBots experience in a Center Stage presentation on Tuesday, February 7, at 2:45 p.m.

See the Latest from Suppliers

With medical device OEMs doubling-down on innovation, they're relying increasingly on outsourcers to fill in the gaps in their core capabilities. Choosing the right contract supplier or service provider is critical, and the best way to vet a potential partner is to meet face to face. At the MD&M West expo, attendees can make the most of their time with hundreds of solutions providers all in one place. With exhibitors showcasing everything from contract manufacturing services to components, materials, and equipment, you're bound to find just what you need to take your project to the next level. Walk the show floor yourself or join an expert-led Innovation Tour to see the most exciting medtech innovations or check out what's new in medical plastics.   

Learn from Industry Luminaries

The MD&M West conference is your chance to learn from some of the brightest minds in medtech. With tracks focusing on product development and user-centric design, the 2017 conference features speakers from top companies such as Medtronic, St. Jude Medical, Tandem Diabetes, and Edwards Lifesciences. Sessions you won't want to miss include a discussion of how FDA-CMS parallel review can work for you, led by Rochelle Fink, senior health science project specialist at CDRH, and a look at wearable form factors that encourage compliance with Chandra Narayanaswami, chief scientist for IBM Commerce Research. You can also learn about secrets of disruptive medical innovation and check out case studies covering how Zimmer Biomet's Signature Solutions platform is helping the company thrive in a value-based care environment and how 3Derm disrupted a standard dermatology practice with value-based design.

Network with Your Peers

Making connections with your fellow medtech professionals is the best way to advance your career, and there are a host of networking opportunities available at MD&M West. Join a meetup focused on 3-D printing, the Internet of Things, sensors, polymers, or robotics to share opportunities and challenges with your peers. To maximize your networking time, sign up for a Speed Networking session and let us match you with professionals who share your interests for five-minute one-on-one meetings that could lead to lasting connections. For a more exclusive experience, upgrade your conference pass to gain access to Club Connect, where you'll have access to free gifts, comfortable seating, refreshments, and snacks to enjoy in a space to conduct meetings. 

Gain Technical Insights

Medtech suppliers are experts in the niches they serve, and the MD&M expo is your chance to learn from those in the know. At the Tech Theater on the expo floor you can hear an expert from Nelson Laboratories explain how new FDA guidance on the ISO 10993-1 standard affects your medical device; learn about the challenges of long-wear adhesives from a representative in 3M's Critical & Chronic Care Solutions Division; and get the low-down on cyclic block copolymer, a novel versatile material for medical applications from USI Group.

Take Advantage of Free Educational Opportunities

Even if you're not attending the MD&M West conference, there are still opportunities to add to your industry knowledge. In sponsored lunch-and-learn sessions and workshops, medtech suppliers and service providers share insights on hot-button topics of importance to the industry. This year, you can learn about 3-D printing techniques to help reduce design risk and manufacturing costs from Proto Labs and get an update on biocompatibility testing, cleaning, sterilization, and packaging validation for medtech from Nelson Laboratories.

Get Inspiration From Other Industries

Crosspollination can lead to innovation, and MD&M West is also a great place to get inspiration from other advanced manufacturing sectors. This year's event is collocated with five other shows--Electronics West, Pacific Design & Manufacturing, Plastec West, Automation Technology West, and West Pack--featuring a whopping 2,200 exhibitors in all. Attendees can see the latest and greatest technologies in robotics, automation, plastics, packaging, design, and electronics all in one place.

Honor Design Excellence

Join in recognizing the achievements of your peers in advanced design and manufacturing at the Golden Mousetrap Awards, the industry's biggest awards event. The February 7 ceremony will honor innovation in four categories: automation and motion control, design tools, electronics and test, and materials and assembly. We'll also name the Gadget Freak of the Year and recognize a Rising Engineer Star.

Win Prizes

Walking the show floor is definitely a win for your product development efforts, but you can also come away from the experience with some loot of your own. At the top of every hour, one attendee will win a free drone. Just scan your badge to enter.

See you at the show!

[Image courtesy of Okras (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons] 

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