Executives of emerging medical technology companies are rightfully proud of the innovations that have given rise to their companies, and are typically eager to describe how those good ideas have been developed into commercial products. One such narrative is presented in this issue's cover story, "Focused for Growth", in which Accuray president and CEO Euan S. Thomson takes readers through the early years of his company's efforts to develop an idea into a commercial product.
Over the years, MX has carried dozens of such stories. But in this issue, the magazine also takes a step further upstream to look at some of the elements that go into creating medtech innovation.
In "Location, LocationInnovation", authors Paris Kucharski and Scott Oldach identify the top U.S. regional sources of patented medtech innovations. And in "The Academic Connection", author Charles F. D'Agostinowith an able assist from a variety of academically affiliated organizationsdescribes the growing importance that universities are placing on their work with medtech manufacturers.
Together, these articles illustrate why regional development authorities of all sizes eagerly recruit medical device companies to establish facilities in their territories. And they also contribute to an understanding of some of the elements that go into making possible the innovations that lead to advanced medical technologiesand hence improvements in healthcare.
Creating such an understanding is especially important this year, when politicians and government agencies are considering many initiatives to reform medtech practices in areas such as product marketing, patent filing, postmarket safety, and business transparency. In some cases, such proposals threaten unintended consequences that could weaken medtech innovation.
The existence and success of medtech innovation should not be taken for granted. Supporting such innovation where it already exists, and nurturing its growth in promising new areas, requires carefully conceived and well-executed policies.