Looking Back at the 35th Annual MD&M West Expo & Conference

by Matt Hedlund / February 22, 2020

Benchmark had the pleasure of exhibiting at this year’s hallmark Medical Design and Manufacturing West Expo and Conference in Anaheim, where our team met with medical device industry leaders, buyers, suppliers, and partners. And with over 21,000 attendees and nearly 2,000 exhibitors there was plenty to talk about.

As usual,  the show largely consisted of several sister trade shows at one location including Pack West, Design and Manufacturing, Automation Technology, Plastec West, and the recent addition of the new two-day Cannabis Packaging Summit.

Focus on New & Emerging Tech 

Highlights of this year’s event included the Design Dome, Tech Theater, Center Stage, Lunch and Learns, Speed Networking and the new MD&M Innovation Lab, which was similar to the Product Showcases in previous years. The Innovation Lab focused on meeting and greeting participating companies that offer end products in a cozy and comfortable setting in the lower level of the convention center. The Center Stage was also a little different this year, continuing to offer free and accessible talks to expo goers except this year they put the stage in the lobby of the convention center outside of the expo hall. You literally couldn’t miss it! 

For those who came to learn, the MD&M West conference offered common themes to all the presentations including emerging technologies, user-centered design, advancements in medical plastics, regulatory compliance, smart manufacturing, 3D printing materials trends, and product innovation development strategies. A really interesting aspect of the conference this year was the addition of so-called ‘Lightning Workshops’, which all took place on the last day of the show and focused on collaboration, innovation, ideation, reducing risk, increasing quality, regulatory challenges, and automation.

As always, the conference included a diverse group of keynote speakers. This year’s opening event had a unique approach: a Keynote Panel. Focused on the disruptors in the robotics space, the panelists included speakers from Microsoft, Auris Health, NASA, and Stryker. And in an inspiring and motivating fashion, the conference was closed by a speaker focused on the ‘Adventurous Thinking’ methodology as a “frugal innovation system”. All-in-all, it was a unique twist to everyone’s favorite conference of the year.

Sights & Sounds from the Expo 

MD&M West saw a very similar set of exhibitors and attendees as previous years, with great foot traffic and plenty of product demos on the show floor. In the Benchmark booth we had the opportunity to show off our new booth with an integrated private meeting space and showcase our latest medical device product examples. Between products where we’ve provided engineering design, manufacturing, test development, or other services we’ve had the opportunity to connect with folks from many different backgrounds. With customers from market segments like cardiac rhythm management, newborn health, neurovascular treatment, diagnostics and more there’s always something that resonates with a passerby.

For some interactivity, we demonstrated a handheld vein viewing device and a handheld ultrasound imager, which encouraged our peers to gets hands-on and experience the technology for themselves. In our display case we featured an automatic external defibrillator (AED), clinical lab analyzer, a biometric wearable, and an IVD point-of-care system.

Each of these product examples represent medical device manufacturers that chose Benchmark to help them solve their technical challenges in areas like industrial design, circuit design and PCB layout, product development, manufacturing process automation, volume manufacturing and much more. We also featured examples of circuit boards fabricated using our advanced manufacturing technologies, including miniaturized and high speed products like a cochlear implant, an autonomous vehicle system, and a personal computer. The only thing we forgot this year was the magnifying glass to see the detail of the traces on these boards, which are truly too dense to see unaided!"

Looking Ahead to the Future

We celebrated a major milestone this year at MD&M West, our 40-year heritage in medical technologies. As we work toward our next 40 years, we look to become the partner of choice with our full system integrated solutions focused on providing the best possible outcomes for patients and providers alike.

Overall MD&M West proves to be the premier medical device show for North America and a must attend event for anyone in the industry. Here at Benchmark, we’re happy to say that we’ll be back again next year with new and exciting medical technologies.

Medical About Benchmark

about the author

Matt Hedlund

Matt Hedlund is a Product Marketing Manager for Benchmark's Complex Industrial and Medical Technologies sectors. A Biomedical Engineer and Physiologist by training, Matt has industry experience spanning from product development to business development and marketing for both original OEM's and in EMS. Born and raised outside NYC, Matt now resides in Seattle, Washington where he enjoys gardening, kayaking, snowboarding, and hiking, all mostly in the rain.

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