Medical Device Innovation: Minnetronix VP Dirk Smith Speaks at Medical Device Group of Boston Forum

November 5, 2015 - Derick Daley, Director of Business Development



On November 4, the Medical Device Group (MDG) of Boston hosted a forum entitled “Medical Technology Product Development: From Concept to Commercialization”. A crowd of over 200 Boston-area industry professionals were in attendance as speakers discussed such topics as innovation, funding, intellectual property, and medical device commercialization best practices. The speakers, who represented various medical device industry sub-groups, were Richard Gill, PhD, (an investor with the Launchpad Venture group), Gene Gregerson (CEO and Co-Founder of Mobius Imaging), and Dirk Smith (Vice President of Technology Solutions and Co-Founder of Minnetronix).

Dirk was the final speaker of the evening and, leveraging Minnetronix’ unique viewpoint as a service-providing medical technology company, presented case studies from various Minnetronix commercialization projects. Dirk discussed the starting points, execution, and outcomes for each case, and then provided his thoughts on the lessons learned. Among the take-aways he shared, Dirk noted the importance of addressing problems with solutions that have market value: “It’s critical to invest time defining the problem and thoroughly vetting how and why your solution will deliver clear market value.”

For those of us from Minnetronix, a couple of key themes emerged from the evening. We noted that while it can be easy for med tech companies to get caught up in the details of technology and execution, successful innovators are exceptional at clearly defining and understanding how to provide value to the market and ultimately the patient, and then have a laser-focus on bringing this value – staying focused on what matters and deprioritizing everything else.

The other key theme we found worth noting was the notion of what makes a successful innovator in the med tech space. Some of the key attributes discussed were passion, drive and perseverance; willingness to challenge assumptions (others and their own); humility and valuing the contribution of others; and an ability to set a clear and compelling vision and lead to that vision. Overall, the meeting was a great reminder of the positive difference that can be made in people’s lives through the development and delivery of medical technology. Dirk closed his talk with a reminder of the importance of “creating technology that matters, really matters” and a picture of a smiling patient discussing his ventricular assist device.