New York Impact & Women Leaders in Medical: An Interview with MedTech’s Jessica Crawford

I had an opportunity to catch up again with Jessica Crawford, President of New York-based MedTech, connecting bioscience, pharmaceutical and medical technology companies. Jessica and I discussed the success of the inaugural New York Medtech Week, the amazing innovation in New York State, and the upcoming MEDTECH 2016 conference.

 

The Inaugural New York Medtech Week

Janelle Urchenko: Jessica, it’s great to have the chance to catch up with you. I know that the MedTech team has been up to some exciting things lately, like June’s inaugural New York Medtech Week! Tell me more about it. Was it as successful as you’d envisioned?

Jessica Crawford: Absolutely! New York Medtech Week is a week-long initiative highlighting the numerous innovations and medical device companies in New York State that save lives throughout the region and around the world.

In this, the Week’s first year, we were able to share some incredible stories of why MedTech member companies do business in NYS. We also had a social media campaign, highlighting our medical device companies and the economic role the medical device industry plays in the various regions in NYS.

I would love to expand on this more for the 2017 New York Medtech Week and encourage our member companies, and other medical device companies in the state, to celebrate Medtech Week with us.

Technology Innovation Trends - an artistic mindmap from MD&M East
Technology Innovation Trends – an artistic mindmap from MD&M East

 

JU: I know MD&M East played a key role in this year’s New York Medtech Week. The Creation Technologies team and the team from iuvo BioScience, another MedTech member company, had a great time learning and meeting new people in the medical device industry at the conference and enjoyed spending time together in the MedTech booth.

JC: I’m glad to hear that Creation Technologies and iuvo BioScience had such a positive experience at the show! The reception sponsored by the two companies on Tuesday night was a huge success and drew numerous MD&M East attendees to our booth.

For our part, it was a great opportunity for MedTech to work with UBM Americas, the organization that plans all of the MD&M events, on an expanded partnership to launch Medtech Week. UBM has a strong following, so it was very beneficial in pushing the message out about New York Medtech Week and reaching many individuals in the medical device industry, not just our member companies.

Creation Technologies Chicago GM Dan Dery & Creation Design Services Sean Priddy setting up for the Cocktail Reception with iuvo Bioscience at the MedTech booth at MD&M East
Creation Technologies Chicago GM Dan Dery & Creation Design Services Sean Priddy setting up for the Cocktail Reception with iuvo Bioscience at the MedTech booth at MD&M East

 

Amazing Things for Medical OEMs in New York State

JU: One of the things that struck the Creation Technologies team at this year’s show was the diversity of conference attendees. Since our role in the industry is to design, commercialize and manufacture medical devices for OEMs, we really enjoyed the opportunity to learn first-hand the profound impact these products have for end users – patients, hospital administrators, doctors both in clinical practice and in academia. What is one of your key takeaways from MD&M East?

JC: For us, the key takeaway from this show is how essential the medical device industry is within the healthcare ecosystem. As the eighth largest medical device presence in the nation, the industry in New York State accounts for more than 13,000 jobs and $4.6 billion in overall economic impact. In Upstate NY alone, the medical device industry employs 8,400 residents across 141 business establishments.

While at MD&M East, it was great to see the 900+ companies exhibiting, many of which were from NYS or the Northeastern part of our nation. With so many leading companies under one roof, the networking and collaboration at this is event was palpable and we were so pleased to have supported this event as it helps to continue growing the Bio/Med industry in NYS.

 

JU: 13,000 jobs and 4.6 billion dollars – that’s a tremendous impact. What is at the core of this expanding New York State bioscience and medical technology market? Where is the energy and passion coming from?

JC: The numerous economic incentive programs in New York State help to maintain New York as a leader in the industry and continue to energize companies across the state. Since 2001, the region has seen strong employment growth in research, testing and medical labs (up 48%) and bioscience-related distribution (up to 9%) that outpaced national growth. The most highly concentrated industry subsector in the state is drugs and pharmaceuticals with a concentration that is 8% greater than that seen nationally.

 

MedTech President Jessica Crawford and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul kick off New York MedTech Week
MedTech President Jessica Crawford and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul kick off New York MedTech Week

 

Women in Leadership – Medical and Beyond

JU: Speaking of government and its strong advocacy for economic growth in the medical sector, it must have been a treat to have Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul as part of the New York Medtech Week kick-off. Not only does her participation underscore the importance of the Week and the opportunity for New York to lead the way in medical device innovation, it also highlights the fact that many of the people now leading the way are women. What’s it been like to work with her?

JC: Working with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is always a great experience.

A Buffalo native, Hochul is a true friend to our state and to MedTech, and we were honored to have her speak at our annual conference, MEDTECH 2015. Hochul and her team work relentlessly with Governor Andrew Cuomo to continue helping medical device companies in the state and improve the overall economy of NYS.

She and her team continue to impress me, specifically with their responsiveness and interest in helping NYS companies. At MD&M East she met with one of our member companies that is interested in expanding in Upstate New York. Hours after she left the event, she followed up with the company interested in setting up a meeting. It’s that level of responsiveness that makes working with her such a great experience.

 

MEDTECH 2016

JU: MEDTECH 2016 is coming up quickly! What can we expect from this year’s annual conference?

JC: That’s right, MEDTECH 2016 is just around the corner, scheduled for September 26-28 at the Albany Hilton in Albany, N.Y. While MEDTECH 2015 focused on the need for industry collaboration and leveraging the strengths of non-traditional partnerships, MEDTECH 2016 will focus on the need for New York State companies to effectively innovate and what the upcoming election means to the Bio/Med industry.

 

JU: We’re excited to attend again this year, and I know Sean Priddy from Creation Design Services is looking forward to being on one of the panel discussions in the always-interesting Innovation & Technology track.

Last question for you, Jessica. Leaders like Kathy Hochul are having an obvious impact on the growth and success of the medical industry. As the President of MedTech, what has it been like for you personally as a woman in a leadership role in the medical industry? What advice would you offer other woman leaders and entrepreneurs?

JC: My biggest piece of advice for women looking to take on leadership roles in the medical industry is to be passionate about the industry that you work in and continue to grow your professional network. My interest in healthcare and passion for helping our members succeed is what drives me every day. Each week I meet with companies that share the same desire for pursuing medical breakthroughs and improving the health of all. It’s these individuals that motivate me to continue to be my best.

 

Why I loved MEDTECH 2015

Buffalo

Buffalo, NY, is not generally recognized as a hub for technology and innovation. But that is exactly what the city looked and felt like to me when it hosted MEDTECH 2015, one of the largest and most impactful medical technology conferences in the state of New York.

Over the last decade, I have definitely noticed a transition in the city of Buffalo and in the surrounding region. As part of the recent “Buffalo Billions” initiative, the state of New York has invested a significant amount of resources and time into innovation, infrastructure and education. This is in an effort to spur Buffalo and western New York’s economy and enrich the quality of life for its residents.

During this time of year, where many of us are reflecting on 2015, I wanted to share the great experience that all of us from Creation who attended MEDTECH 2015 back in October had. Here are a few of my highlights:

  • A Booth with a View: The site of the conference, the brand new Harbor Center Complex in downtown Buffalo, had an ice rink and we could actually watch a Buffalo Sabres practice from our booth!
  • Inspiring Speakers: The closing keynote by IBM Watson Health was very interesting and engaging. The speaker, Mike Svinte, spoke about Big Data and the Internet of Things, and how they apply to our day-to-day lives – particularly in the manufacturing sector.
  • Exchanging Ideas: During the two days, we were able to interact with a lot of other MedTech members. It was interesting to hear about new technologies and innovative medical devices that are part of the New York landscape and are actively contributing to the renewal of the region. We hope that we can partner with more of these great companies and create devices that will enrich lives.
  • A Well-Oiled Machine: MedTech did an excellent job of planning the event and setting customized agendas. The collaboration tracks were an interesting way to allow attendees to pick the content they wished to take in and the workshops they wanted to attend.
  • Local Revolution: During the two days at MEDTECH we heard some of the same words being used over and over: reinvention, revitalization, innovation, and growth. One of the goals of the conference was for leaders in the local medical technology industry to collaborate and share ideas that will further the community.

MEDTECH also presented some great opportunities for our CEO, Bhawnesh Mathur, to connect with leaders and influencers from the region. With Creation being an EMS partner that has long served medical device companies, our CEO was eager to speak about how innovation, collaboration, and partnership in the manufacturing sector could drive economic growth.

Here is the video of Bhawnesh sharing his thoughts as part of the panel discussion on “Strategy & Development Track: Manufacturing Innovation.”

It will be interesting to see how MEDTECH 2015 attendees apply these concepts in the next 12 months. I am looking forward to coming back next year to see how far we’ve come, and make plans to go even further.

Innovation, Influence and Impact: An Interview with MedTech’s Jessica Crawford

I had an opportunity to catch up with Jessica Crawford, President of New York-based MedTech, heading into the week of MEDTECH 2015. Jessica and I discussed today’s most significant opportunities and business challenges for bioscience and medical technology OEMs.

 

MedTech's Jessica Crawford Interview with Creation Technologies

Janelle Urchenko: Tell us more about the origins of MedTech. I understand it grew from the idea of transforming Upstate New York into a knowledge-based economy.

Jessica Crawford: MedTech was founded in 2004 by four New York State bioscience and medical technology (Bio/Med) companies – Bristol-Myers Squibb, ConMed Corporation, Sensis Corporation (acquired by Saab in 2011), and Welch Allyn.

MedTech was formed at the urging of then New York Senator Hilary Clinton in response to an economic development plan recommending closer collaboration among medical products and services firms to help grow the region’s knowledge-based economy. The idea was that by acting together we would have greater success, benefitting industry as well as the entire region with more knowledge-based jobs, which are higher paying with greater economic impact.

Our mission is really an economic development one – forming an epicenter of Bio/Med activity by developing the relationships, tools and programs that enable New York State companies to bring tomorrow’s medical solutions to the healthcare marketplace.

MedTech provides a single voice for the Bio/Med industry and also encompasses the entire ecosystem – from innovators to suppliers and academic research to service providers – providing a vehicle for collaboration and the sharing of best practices.

 

JU: What’s your vision for the evolution of this ecosystem, and how is it relevant in today’s changing economic climate?

JC: This couldn’t be more relevant than in today’s dynamic industry landscape. In today’s ever-evolving healthcare marketplace, identifying untapped potential is essential for success.

Partnerships emerge through investments, consolidation and public-private collaborations, bringing together payers, providers and patients to improve care and reduce costs.

At the heart of this convergence is creativity, building momentum for growth. Through purposeful collisions – industry and academia; entrepreneurs and business leaders; domestic and abroad – convergence drives progress through the development of new technology, product enhancements and radical innovation.

MedTech will be highlighting this and more at our annual conference, MEDTECH 2015 “Convergence: Building Momentum for Growth” on October 14-15 in Buffalo, NY.

 

MEDTECH 2014

 

JU: We’re certainly looking forward to some great discussion, and maybe even a little debate, at the conference!  Also to meeting new people from other MedTech member companies. What is it about New York that attracts medical and biotech businesses? And how are these companies leveraging the growing MedTech community to engage their customers in the area and beyond?

JC: New York is among the top tier of states in the size of its bioscience industry and the scale and reach of its bioscience research complex.

Here are some of what I think are very exciting stats:

  • State firms employ nearly 75,000 in the biosciences.
  • New York’s academic institutions conducted $3.5 billion in bioscience academic research and development in 2012.
  • State institutions, both academic and non-academic, have received $1.9 billion in funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2013 alone.
  • New York inventors were issued nearly 6,400 patents from 2009 through 2013 in bioscience-related technologies.
  • In each of these key metrics of the scale and innovative nature of the biosciences, New York is among the top 10 states. (From Battelle/BIO State Bioscience Jobs, Investments and Innovation 2014)

MedTech connects New York State’s Bio/Med industry through collaboration, education and advocacy. MEDTECH 2015 is a prime example. It draws more than 300 decision-makers from throughout the industry, and offers unmatched opportunities to strengthen and build new relationships with industry leaders and meet new partners, resources and customers. Our signature Collaboration & Growth Track also offers partnering opportunities with some of our industry’s foremost companies, this year including Air Liquide Healthcare, AMRI, Johnson & Johnson and PARC – a Xerox Company.

We’re also very excited that this year’s conference is in Buffalo, NY. The energy and momentum surrounding the Bio/Med industry in Western New York is palpable and is a testament to the capital infusion by New York State and local industry into its downtown core.

In the last five years alone, Western New York has experienced a four percent growth in Bio/Med employment, yielding $5.6 billion in total economic impact.

 

MEDTECH 2014 -2

JU: MedTech’s focus seems to be on community, scalability and tools for success in today’s competitive marketplace. With regard to tools — how are MedTech companies measuring success these days? Is the focus still on speed to market, or are you seeing a shift with new competitive pressures?

JC: With the onset of the Affordable Care Act, the business of healthcare has changed dramatically as the focus has shifted to health outcomes and behavioral changes.

For example, information-leveraging technologies including smartphone applications and sensors are empowering patients with transparent information and giving them more control over their health. Further, to help reduce costs and improve quality, companies are changing the way they innovate and identifying efficiencies in production.

Our Manufacturing Innovation” panel at MEDTECH 2015 also features industry experts, including, as you know, Creation Technologies President and CEO Bhawnesh Mathur.  This session will examine how new technologies, partnerships and initiatives in manufacturing are reducing costs and production time, while also developing custom solutions including personalized devices, prototypes and injection molding.

I’m looking forward to hearing Bhawnesh speak to new industry trends and resources that you are leveraging for your customers, as well as how Creation’s customers are innovating for their own marketplaces.

 

Creation Technologies Medical Devices

JU: MedTech talks about the vibrant community at its epicenter. Is there a success story you can share? What do you think are the indicators of a successful relationship?

JC: MedTech means different things to each of our members. Consequently, success or value for one may mean something completely different to another.

Member Bill Rader, president and CEO of Efferent Labs, Inc. participated in a MedTech Metro event in 2014, making a presentation on his development stage bio-device company focused on implantable biosensors. Someone in the audience followed up with him afterward and encouraged him to apply for the 43North Competition – the world’s largest business competition with $5 million in cash prizes.

Bill took the advice and applied. He later learned he was a semi-finalist and ultimately took home second place and $500,000 and more in cash and incentives to locate in Buffalo, NY.

Efferent Labs, Inc. is now on the fast track toward success – made possible through a MedTech connection.

 

JU: Back to the origins of MedTech and its goals – this year’s MEDTECH 2015 conference surfaces some new areas of focus like, “How to Play Nice with Others”.  What is your prediction for medical device companies in the next year?  What might be some hot topics at MEDTECH 2016?

JC: The theme for MEDTECH 2015 is focused on convergence and how new industry trends are leading to unique opportunities for partnering and investment. To remain competitive, industry stakeholders including payers, providers and patients, are coming together in novel ways.

Consolidation has become the norm as bigger appears to be better in the post Affordable Care Act world. Traditional consumer giants like Google and Samsung with either technical expertise or market share are also leveraging strategic partners to enter the Bio/Med industry. This paradigm shift is heating up competition and creating unique opportunities for collaboration.

This year’s “How to Play Nice with Others” panel discusses emerging channels for consumables and the repurposing of technology to appeal to varying populations, as well as the challenges that arise from new players entering the healthcare market.

And it’s unlikely that these trends are behind us.

Provider systems around the country are following payers’ moves, also entering into new relationships at a feverish pace. Just this year, Barnabas Health and Robert Wood Johnson Health System combined their 11 hospitals to form New Jersey’s largest health system and Prime Healthcare Services’ takeover of six-hospital Daughters of Charity Health System. And private practice acquisitions are happening daily in the health delivery space.

MEDTECH 2016 will continue take on these trends and more when we return to Albany, NY next fall.

 

If you haven’t already registered, it’s not too late! I believe there are still a few tickets left for MEDTECH 2015, which you can get by contacting events@medtech.org.

I’m looking forward to hearing all about MEDTECH 2015 from Jessica and the folks at MedTech, as well as from Bhawnesh and the other Creation folks who are attending.

If you missed it, Bhawnesh shared a sneak peek here of his thoughts around the complex subject of Manufacturing Innovation in medical devices.

And maybe Connie Griffin will publish a recap to go along with her lead-up post to the conference that presents an interesting perspective on the impact manufacturing and the medical community are having on revitalization in New York State.

 

The Innovation Challenge: Creation Article in Medical Design Technology

When it comes to medical devices, the subject of innovation is very complex. With drivers like government spending, a complicated regulatory landscape, the Internet of Everything and the personalized patient experience, there’s a lot to talk about.

It’s no wonder that MEDTECH 2015 features a panel of experts discussing Manufacturing Innovation!

We’re excited that Creation’s President and CEO, Bhawnesh Mathur, will be among these experts in Buffalo, New York, this Thursday.

Want a sneak preview of Bhawnesh’s thoughts?

Here’s his article published this morning in Medical Design Technology:


Innovation Challenge for Medical Device OEMs: Creation Technologies Bhawnesh Mathur

Innovation Challenge for Medical Device OEMs: Navigating the Regulatory Environment

 

 

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