To Help Children And The Economy Becomes Stronger Through Innovation

29 Sep

image006The Medtech sector has proven to be a catalyst for economic development, both at the local and national levels. Because it is so R&D-intensive and technologically sophisticated, Medtech not only creates a diversity of job opportunities and value-added activities – it also creates barriers to entry for foreign competition.

Various economic development groups across the country have been instrumental in creating ecosystems for Medtech innovators and startups to succeed, but what can they do to incentivize those who develop and test their product in children?

Local economic development groups can help spur pediatric innovation. By providing infrastructure to advance the Medtech sector, economic development groups can play an instrumental role in supporting investment, innovation, and even patient access.

The Medtech sector has made advances in creating technologies for monitoring health, diagnosing medical conditions, and developing devices to treat injuries, illnesses and chronic conditions, but it has done so largely to benefit adults. Children are still in need of pediatric devices that are specifically developed and tested for them. Due to the lack of adequate pediatric medical devices and surgical instruments, clinicians and surgeons continue to improvise and jury-rig devices, as needed.

This occurs because, unlike the pharmaceutical sector, Medtech tends to consist of small businesses with less financial resources. These companies contribute to the economy by injecting competition into markets, spurring innovation, and attracting investors. Small device companies tend to be more willing to develop pediatric devices so they should be incentivized.

On October 8, 2016, some of the brightest minds in the field will gather at the 4th Annual Pediatric Surgical Innovation Symposium to discuss opportunities and challenges associated with pediatric device development, and to also examine the economic development angle of this issue.

The one-day forum, organized by the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System, will focus on the current and potential contribution of Medtech companies, specifically local and national economic growth and the economics of the healthcare system. One of the main objectives of the symposium will be to examine incentives that could become available to those Medtech companies that either have a pediatric device in the market or companies that are committed to developing and testing an existing adult device for the pediatric population.

Keynote speakers for this year’s symposium include Brian T. Kenner, deputy mayor for Planning and Economic Development for the District of Columbia, who will touch on Washington, DC’s vision for technology and innovation, and Vasum Peiris, MD, chief medical officer of Pediatrics and Special Populations, Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the FDA.

In seeking pediatric device solutions, another highlight of the symposium is a pediatric medical device pitch competition, where up to six prizes totaling $250,000 will be awarded to the winning presentations with a device that addresses a significant, yet unmet pediatric need and lends itself to commercialization.

To register, visit, and join the discussion on twitter using #Innovate4Kids.