The first ever Medical Device Connectivity Conference and Exposition was held September 10 and 11, 2009. The event was at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School in Boston (what a swanky place!).

The program focused on regulatory changes (the FDA’s proposed MDDS rule and the new IEC 80001) and industry standards (IHE PCD, HL7, 11073, ICE, 802.11x, etc.) and patient safety. The second day had separate tracks for:

  • Trends in connectivity infrastructure, like networking, converging hospital IT and Biomed departments, and wireless sensors;
  • A survey of predominate medical device connectivity applications — EMR documentation, infusion pumps, operating room integration; and
  • A clinical track looking at why people make and buy connectivity, to improve patient safety and improve outcomes.

There were over 200 attendees at the conference, split about 60/40, manufacturers and health care providers. Among the providers, there was a preponderance of clinical engineers, then came IT folks, and finally clinicians. Manufacturers were mostly senior level product management and engineering people.

There were 9 sponsors for the event: Capsule, Cardiopulmonary Corp., Cerner, Cisco, Fluke Network, Hill-Rom, Medical Connectivity Consulting, Nuvon, and Philips.

I’m proud to note the following supporting organizations, with which many speakers and attendees are affiliated: AAMI, ACCE, ACCE Healthcare Technology Foundation, Mass Technology Leadership Council, the Medical Device Group, and RFID in Healthcare Foundation.

The nature of the conference business is that the first year’s always the hardest. The biggest challenge is that, because your conference did not exist last year, no one has budgeted money to sponsor or attend the first year. Under that handicap, we did quite well — which is a testament to both the organizer’s acumen (TCBI) and market interest in the topic.

Next year — yes, there will be another event next year — will be bigger and better. Thanks to everyone who participated for helping create a great event. Any comments, observations, critiques and suggestions are welcome — just leave a comment.