ATLANTA - With a substantially strong turnout the Southeastern Medical Device Association (SEMDA) kicked off its 2013 conference earlier today. Hosted at the Georgia Institute of Technology Global Learning Center, the organization's annual conference featured speakers ranging from Medical Device Manufacturers Association President/CEO Mark Leahey to Jeff Shuren, MD, director of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (even though he was speaking from an offsite location).
SEMDA seemed to have its finger on the pulse of med-tech firms' concerns even more so than last year. As in past years the themes seemed to center around dealing with strained funding and going through intense regulatory procedures, but this year's conference was a bit different and offered speakers seemed to echo to attendees that there was hope for the industry.
One example of this came from Leahey, who urged device makers to get out stories on their successes and urged device makers to encourage patients who benefited from med-tech innovation to speak out about the technology. He said that the med-tech industry has a compelling story and that story needs to get out. He also said that he was confident that progress was being made in repealing the medical device tax.
Not to be outdone, FDA's Shuren gave positive news and presented data showing that after a decade of lagging services when it comes to approving devices, there seems to be a slight uptick in FDA getting devices out of the door.
While the med-tech industry has gone through changes and faces challenges, it was refreshing to see presenters focus on the bright spots in the industry.