Before I joined the PlasticsToday editorial team around five years ago, I had been editing business-to-business publications focused on medical manufacturing. When I started doing that back in the mid-1990s, bare-metal stents were still a novelty (drug-eluting stents would enter clinical use a few years later); robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery was just coming into the OR; and, as far as the general public was concerned, A.I. Artificial Intelligence was nothing more than the title of a movie that Stephen Spielberg was working on. The progress made by the medical technology industry in the space of a generation is astonishing.
The scope of medtech innovation is sometimes missed because, unlike consumer electronics, to cite an obvious example, the pace of change is much slower. It has to be because of the regulatory guardrails that are in place. The bug on your brand new smartphone can be fixed on the fly—no reason to delay market entry. A medical device, on the other hand, needs to work precisely as intended right out of the box. Innovation in medical technology is incremental, a gradual process that one day suddenly becomes a novel device saving the lives—and improving the quality of life—of millions of people. The Medical Design & Excellence Awards (MDEA) program, now in its 21st year, uniquely rewards those achievements and the engineers and designers who made them possible. It also often recognizes the suppliers who partnered with OEMs to bring those innovations to fruition, something that, quite frankly, isn’t commonplace, but should be.
|A finalist in the drug-delivery and combination products category, the Bydureon BCise from AstraZeneca is reportedly the first cartridge-based autoinjector for patients with Type 2 diabetes.|
The 2019 finalists were announced recently and they are featured in a slide show on the website of sister brand MD+DI. Check out the state of the art in digital health technology, medical implants and drug-delivery devices, to name three of the nine MDEA categories. The winners in each category, along with the Readers Choice winner, will be announced during a special ceremony at Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) East in New York. The awards presentation on June 11 at 4:30 PM is preceded by a cocktail reception at 4 PM and is followed by a post-ceremony reception at 5:30 PM. It takes place at the Medtech Hub at booth 1669.
MD&M East is co-located with PLASTEC East and four other shows dedicated to packaging, automation technology, design and manufacturing, and inspection and testing equipment at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. The event runs from June 11 to 13. For more information and to register to attend, visit the event website.